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Obama Cabinet Official: ‘Most’ of the Relief Money to Iran Won’t Fund Terrorism

US President Barack Obama (R) speaks to announce change of his chief of staff at the State Dinning Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 9, 2012 as his replacement chief of staff Jacob Lew looks on. White House chief of staff William Daley is to step down and will be replaced by President Barack Obama’s budget chief Lew. AFP Photo/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew acknowledged that large sums of money will be given to Iran as part of the sanctions relief, adding that “most” of it won’t directly fund terrorist operations in the Middle East.

Speaking at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s 30th Anniversary Gala last week, Lew alluded to the sanctions relief process and state-funded terrorism concerns, saying:

“Many Americans, and many of our closest allies, are understandably concerned that Iran will use the money it receives as a result of sanctions relief to fund terrorism and support destabilizing proxies throughout the Middle East.”

Lew continued, adding that the Obama administration shares those concerns. He also insisted that the administration will maintain sanctions that specifically address “these [terrorist] activities.” Lew assured the attendees that “most” of the relief money given to Iran will not fund terrorism:

“But it’s important to note that the connection between nuclear sanctions relief and Iran’s other malign activities is complicated, and most of the money Iran receives from sanctions relief will not be used to support those activities.”

During Lew’s remarks, he said that Iran will be under “enormous pressure” to improve its domestic economy, adding that funding terrorism is a “relatively small” part of Iran’s budget.


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