US Renews Waiver Allowing Iraq to Buy Electricity From Iran Amid Hamas Attacks on Israel

Critics say the money Iran would receive—$10 billion—would be used for the regime’s malign activities, including its support for terrorism.

The United States has extended a waiver to Iraq to allow the country to buy electricity from Iran despite the terrorist attacks against Israel by Tehran-backed Hamas.

A State Department spokesperson confirmed to The Epoch Times that Secretary of State Antony Blinken extended the waiver for another 120 days. Critics say the amount of money Iran would receive—$10 billion—would be used for the regime’s malign activities, including its support for terrorism.

It was the 21st such waiver issued by the United States.

The spokesperson said Iran would not have access to the funds.

“Any notion that the Biden administration has permitted money from Iran’s restricted accounts to enter Iran is false and misleading,” said the spokesperson. “And we have no plans to do so.”

The spokesperson said the funds can be used by Tehran only for humanitarian and other non-sanctionable purposes.

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Nonetheless, critics blasted the administration for issuing the waiver.

“They just can’t quit appeasing Iran. It’s all they know,” said Richard Goldberg, who led Iran policy in the National Security Council during the Trump administration.

“It’s somewhere between ideology and pathology,” he told The Epoch Times. “There’s no excuse for giving Iran access to a single penny after October 7, and 55 attacks on U.S. forces since October 17.”

Oct. 7 was when Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, launched an unprecedented surprise attack on civilians in Israel, leading to the biggest single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. Israel has retaliated with aerial and ground operations in Gaza, which Hamas controls.

Senators, expressing outrage over the waiver decision, noted that Iran backs Hamas.

“After refusing to permanently freeze the $6 billion ransom payment to Iran, the administration released another $10 billion. This appeasement only emboldens the Iranian regime and its proxies to continue their attacks on American troops and our allies,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) posted on X, formerly Twitter.

The $6 billion was in exchange for five U.S. hostages held by Iran. However, according to the administration, the payment has not been put on hold and not processed amid the Hamas attacks.

“The Biden Administration just unlocked $10 billion for Iran—the same regime that facilitated Hamas’ attack on Israel and funds terrorist proxies to attack American troops. This decision from the Administration is unconscionable,” posted Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) on X.
“Once again, the Biden Administration doubles down on weakness towards Iran. No matter how they spin it, green-lighting another $10 billion to the Iranian regime frees them up to spend more on their campaign of terrorism across the region,”  Sen. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) posted on X.

GOP presidential candidates joined the chorus of outrage toward the administration.

“Joe Biden just green-lit $10B to Iran. Iran‘s proxies are targeting American troops abroad and just killed dozens of our citizens in Israel. Joe Biden needs to wake up—we look like fools paying terrorists who attack us and chant ‘death to America,'” posted GOP presidential candidate and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley on X.
GOP presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis noted that the extension was made the same day as the March for Israel in Washington.
“On the same day as the biggest pro-Israel rally in American history, Joe Biden’s administration gifted another sanctions waiver for Iran to access $10 billion – the same regime underwriting the horrific Hamas attack on Israel on October 7th that Israel is courageously fighting, with American and Israeli hostages still being held,” he posted on X.

“Reckless and dangerous doesn’t even begin to describe the wreckage Biden is leaving behind.”

Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) called extending the waiver “madness.”
Since taking office, President Biden has allowed Iran to get at least $50 billion despite Tehran being under heavy U.S. sanctions, according to Open the Books, a nonpartisan watchdog.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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