White House spokesman Josh Earnest said during Wednesday’s press briefing it is possible the $400 million that the Obama administration airlifted to Iran could have been spent on funding terrorism.
“The president was quite forward-leaning in advance of the nuclear deal even being completed in acknowledging that we know that Iran supports terrorism,” Earnest said. “We know that Iran supports Hezbollah and the Assad regime, and it is certainly possible that some of the money that Iran has is being used for those purposes, too.”
Earnest said the Obama administration has been working with their partners in the Middle East to counter Iran’s nefarious activities but knows that the bulk of the $400 million had been used to address the current economic weaknesses the country continues to face.
Earnest also slammed critics of the Iran nuclear deal because Tehran did not receive the billions of dollars from sanctions relief that some claimed and said opponents of the deal were either misinformed or lying to the American public.
Earnest said that the money Iran had received was from a bank account they had paid into and had been fighting to get back for years.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the $400 million was stacked on wooden pallets in euros, Swiss francs, and other currencies in an unmarked plane. The United States does not allow dollar transactions with Iran and needed to get the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Iran received the money about the same time that four Americans who were detained in the country were released.