White House Criticized For Iran Sanctions Waiver

The White House received considerable criticism after allowing for a sanctions waiver to expire for the Islamic Republic of Iran the same week that the country launched a large missile and drone attack against Israel. The move followed several other sanctions waivers that have allowed Iran access to billions of dollars.

The Biden administration allowed for up to $10 billion in funds to become available for the Iranian regime in an exception to the American sanctions regime against Tehran. The decision was taken in March and will allow money sent through Iraq for electricity to flow to Iran. The State Department stated that the move was needed given Iraq’s current electricity situation.

“That money is held in restricted accounts overseas with strict oversight and in close coordination between the Departments of Treasury and State,” the State Department said.

The move came amid increased pressure on President Joe Biden following his changing attitude toward Israel’s prosecution of the war in Gaza against the Hamas terrorist organization.

The administration’s sanctions policy became a topic in Congress, where Sen. Katie Britt (R-AL) questioned Deputy Treasury Secretary Adewale Adeyemo. She asked whether the Biden White House’s actions would place billions of dollars in the hands of Tehran’s theocratic government.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said that the administration “signed off on for a sanctions waiver to give Iran access to cold hard cash in foreign banks.” She said that the president agreed to the change “a full 6 weeks after an Iranian-backed drone attack killed 3 American soldiers.”

A militia allied to Iran launched the attack in Jordan, killing three American servicemembers. Since the start of the current conflict in the Middle East, Iranian-linked groups have launched more than 100 attacks against American forces in the Middle East.

The funds being released to the Iranian regime came as estimates for the total cost of Iran’s barrage against Israel totaling more than $1 billion.

Tehran was struggling in its balance of payments during the administration of former President Donald Trump due to a strong system of sanctions.

However, the Biden administration reversed a number of the president’s actions, including Trump’s decision to list the Houthi rebel group in Yemen as a terrorist organization. This was again reversed after the group began firing missiles and drones at U.S. Navy warships and civilian shipping around the Red Sea since last October.