Iran could receive as much as $50 billion in sanctions relief upon signing a final agreement with the P5+1 global powers, according to a Wall Street Journal report published on Friday. The relief could further fuel Iran’s support for terrorism and destabilizing regional aggression. Vice President for Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Jonathan Schanzer, asserted, “This could be the largest cash infusion to a state sponsor of terrorism in modern history.” Fifty billion dollars is about ten percent of Iran’s GDP, according to JINSA’s CEO Michael Makovsky. The $30-$50 billion in relief would come from Iran’s frozen offshore accounts and would follow the $11 billion that Iran will have received in sanctions relief by the June 30 deadline to reach a final agreement.
Following the announcement of the understanding reached in Lausanne, Switzerland on April 2, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei publicly announced that all sanctions must end the day that a final agreement is reached. In his press conference on Friday, when asked about potential, up-front sanctions relief and whether he would be willing to release funds from Iran’s offshore accounts, President Obama did not answer the reporter’s question. Instead, he said that there are many ways to solve the sanctions issue and that Secretary of State John Kerry would have to engage in “creative negotiations.” Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) told The Washington Post, “It’s deeply troubling that President Obama declined to publicly reject Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s demand that all economic sanctions against Iran be lifted upon concluding a final nuclear agreement.”
Over the past month, in response to Iranian demands, American negotiators have caved on many previously-held red lines. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, declared, “Throughout the negotiations, we’ve lost ground, and Iran in every step of this negotiation has gained ground.” The American team agreed to allow Iran to maintain its underground, heavily fortified enrichment center at Fordow. Iran refuses to ship out its stockpile of enriched uranium, and the P5+1 will not require Iran to come clean on its past weaponization work prior to reaching a final agreement.
Israel will released nearly $500 million in tax revenues it collected for the Palestinian Authority according to an agreement reached by the two sides, Bloomberg News reported Saturday.
Israel suspended the funds in January to protest the Palestinians’ decision to join the International Criminal Court. Palestinians have threatened to seek charges against Israeli leaders for military and settlement activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. …
Israel will transfer 1.85 billion shekels ($472 million) to the Palestinian Authority, according to the Israeli official.
Israel collects taxes and customs on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after his electoral victory in March that Israel would release the revenue as a humanitarian gesture. Abbas initially refused to accept the funds, saying Israel had unilaterally decided on the amount to be transferred.