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Netanyahu warns against US-Iran deal, says released funds will go to 'terrorist elements sponsored by Iran'

US claims it will have 'full visibility' of how the funds are being used

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a cabinet meeting, at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, July 30, 2023. (Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Saturday against a provisional agreement made between the United States and Iran.

According to the agreement, Iran will release five Americans held hostage in Iran in exchange for several billions of dollars in frozen Iranian assets.

The Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem warned that the funds released will only contribute towards more Iranian-sponsored terrorism.

“Israel's position is known,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

“Arrangements that do not dismantle Iran's nuclear infrastructure do not stop its nuclear program and only provide it with funds that will go to terrorist elements sponsored by Iran.”

The deal between the U.S. and Iran was announced on Thursday, as Iran moved the American hostages from prison to house arrest, which came after months of indirect negotiations.

Iran could receive an estimated amount of between $6 billion to $7 billion in funding as early as mid or late-September.

The funds will allegedly come from frozen Iranian assets in South Korea for money it owed in an oil purchase deal before the Trump administration imposed sanctions in 2019.

National Security Coordinator John Kirby said on Friday that the frozen funds would not be used for terrorism, as there would be restrictions on Iran's use of the funds, which will be transferred from South Korea to Qatar and from there to Iran. Kirby claimed that Washington would have “full visibility” of how the funds are being used.

“Essentially, the funds can only be accessed for food, medicine, medical equipment that would not have a dual military use,” Kirby affirmed.

“And there will be a rigorous process of due diligence and standards applied with input from the U.S. Treasury Department.”

According to the deal, the U.S. hostages will only be allowed to fly home once the funds have been released.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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