by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
At the risk of trying our readers’ patience, … I am again banging away at the $6 billion that President Biden caused to be transferred for the benefit of Iran as both ransom for hostages and an enticement to reenter the disastrous nuclear deal the Obama-Biden administration struck with Iran in 2015 (and from which President Trump extricated the United States in 2018).
Here’s the bottom line: Contrary to what Biden officials say, they know they can’t “refreeze” the funds. After all, if they could, they would: Iran, a designated state sponsor of terrorism under federal law for nearly 40 years, backs Hamas and, patently, was complicit in the October 7 atrocities, in which — quite apart from massively murdering and savaging Israelis — Hamas killed at least 22 Americans, with at least 17 other Americans missing (and likely either killed or taken hostage, along with scores of abducted Israelis). Even before Saturday, there were sanctions in place that the Biden administration purports to be enforcing. Clearly then, given the political heat the president is feeling for putting $6 billion at Tehran’s disposal shortly before its proxies slaughtered our citizens and our allies, if he could freeze the funds, he would.
He can’t because he lost his leverage when he waived the sanctions and transferred the funds to Iran’s ally, Qatar. He’d need Qatar’s agreement to freeze the funds. It’s so certain that Qatar would not consent that Biden won’t even ask, because, in this moment, being rebuffed would be too humiliating. So the administration has come up with a fairy tale: Well, we could freeze if we decided to, but there’s no need to because Iran hasn’t touched the money and we can’t “confirm” that Iran was involved in October 7, anyway.