A man holds up a sign as he and several thousand other protestors demonstrate during a rally opposing the nuclear deal with Iran in Times Square.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Iranian government since 2013 has received an estimated $10 billion in cash and gold due to the easing of sanctions following a preliminary nuclear deal agreement with the US and world powers, The Washington Post citing US officials reported Friday.
Included in that total is a previously unreported payment of $1.4 billion made to Tehran in the period between the deal's finalization and when it took effect.
The Islamic Republic together with world powers, known as the P5+1, signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
in July of 2015, which aims to halt Iran's ability to produce nuclear material for the next ten years. The agreement was officially instituted in January of 2016.
A provision in the deal permits Iran to collect over $100 billion thanks to sanctions relief imposed by the US and mostly European countries. The Washington Post
notes that the $10 billion dollars Iran has since collected was not accessible to Iran through traditional banks due to lingering restrictions. The US, according to The Post
, must sign waivers among countries where Iran sells its oil, where proceeds then get transferred to a second country in the Middle East. From there, the profits are converted into hard cash or gold.
Many have questioned the wisdom of entering in an agreement with Islamic Republic, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who claims Tehran is a state sponsor of terrorism that has perpetrated the bloody civil war in Syria, all the while arming Israel's arch enemy in Lebanon, Hezbollah.
Netanyahu has also warned that the deal does next to nothing in preventing Iran from breaking the terms of the agreement and continue in its quest to produce nuclear weapons.
"Even after the signing of the nuclear agreement, Iran has not abandoned its goal of trying to attain a nuclear weapon," Netanyahu said after the nuclear deal's announcement.
"Iran continues to work to destabilize the Middle East and spread terrorism around the globe in violation of its international obligations," he added.