US, Qatar Quietly Agree to Block $6B After Pressure from Trump and Congress

By Jerry McConway, updated on October 13, 2023

Since the first missiles struck Israeli soil on Saturday morning, there have been calls to have the $6 billion freed for Iran from the prisoner exchange frozen again.

Donald Trump and members of Congress have been screaming about this, but until now, the Biden administration held firm that it would not freeze the funds.

  • The money
  • Calls to freeze funding
  • The secret deal
  • My Two Cents…

The Money

The $6 billion was part of the prisoner exchange that the United States had worked out with Iran in September.

Both parties received five prisoners in the swap, but Iran got Biden to agree to release the $6 billion that had been frozen in South Korea and transferred to a Qatar bank.

When the administration was asked why Iran got the $6 billion kicker, we were told that was the deal they were able to make. It seems pretty clear that Iran dictated the terms.

Even though the money had not yet been accessed, there were obvious concerns, especially after Iran's president said they would do what they wanted with the funding.

Calls to Freeze Funding

Knowing Iran is a major financial backer for Hamas, calls were abundant on both sides of the aisle to refreeze the money so it would not be used in this conflict against Israel.

Most members of the Republican Party either sent formal letters to Biden on this front or have made public statements, as have numerous Democrats, including Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.).

Donald Trump joined that chorus on Wednesday, positing on Truth Social:

"CROOKED JOE BIDEN MUST TAKE BACK AND FREEZE THE 6 BILLION DOLLARS RIGHT NOW, BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

"HOW COULD ANYONE BE SO INCOMPETENT AND STUPID? BIDEN CAUSED THIS WAR, AND IT WILL ONLY GET WORSE!!!"

The Secret Deal

The Biden administration has held firm publicly that none of the money had been touched. It has also maintained that the money can only go to approved vendors for humanitarian purposes.

Clearly, Biden did not want to openly give in to the calls by the GOP because he would have then been admitting that there was a chance that Iran would use the money for nefarious purposes.

Sources have since told Fox News that Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo met with House Democrats to inform them that the $6 billion would be held indefinitely by Qatar.

Fox News reported:

"A source present in the room told Fox News Digital that Adeyemo told congressional Democrats in that meeting that the U.S. has reached 'quiet understanding' with Qatar not to move the $6 billion in funding."

There still has been no official word from the White House that the funding has been frozen.

My Two Cents…

Freezing that money as soon as missiles hit Israel was a no-brainer, but this administration's incessant cowering to Iran prevented Biden from doing so.

This has now backed the administration into a corner of defending Iran's ethics.

If Biden publicly announces that the money has been frozen, he is admitting that his initial premise was flawed and there is a danger that Iran could use the money for nefarious purposes. Otherwise, war or not, why freeze the funds?

The media needs to hammer every White House spokesperson during every press briefing on Friday to put them on the spot on this report to make them defend their position.

As a preventive measure, GOP members of the House and Senate are now crafting legislation to freeze this money, at which point Biden will be forced to make a public stand on the matter.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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