Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday it is likely that some of the billions of dollars in sanctions relief granted to Iran under a landmark nuclear deal will go to groups deemed terrorists, the AP reports.
Kerry said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum that there is little the United States or others could do to prevent the now-unfrozen assets from getting into the hands of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps or “other entities” that Iran has supported in the past. But since nuclear-related sanctions were lifted on Iran last weekend, Kerry said there was no evidence yet to suggest such transfers had occurred.
“I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists,” he told CNBC television in an interview. “You know, to some degree, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented. But I can tell you this, right now, we are not seeing the early delivery of funds going to that kind of endeavor at this point in time.”
Kerry also said that many critics of the Iran deal were inflating the amount of money that Iran now has access to. He said estimates of $100 billion to $150 billion were incorrect — $55 billion was more accurate, he said — because large chunks of that money is obligated to satisfy foreign debt. In addition, he said Iran has more than $500 billion in infrastructure and development needs and must invest at least $100 billion to modernize its energy sector.