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U.S. Has Seen No Proof Of Iran’s Involvement In Hamas’ Israel Attack, Blinken Says

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday mentioned there is no such thing as a “direct proof” linking Iran to Saturday’s assault on Israel by Hamas, although they’re recognized to have an in depth relationship.

In an interview with NBC’s “Nightly Information,” Blinken mentioned it’s effectively documented that Iran has had a protracted relationship with the Palestinian militant group, including that this is among the causes that the U.S. has levied sanctions on Iranian people and firms over 400 instances since President Joe Biden got here in workplace.

“Hamas wouldn’t be Hamas with out the assist over many, a few years from Iran,” he informed NBC’s Lester Holt. “And so, we all know that. We see that.”

Nonetheless, Blinken clarified that the U.S. doesn’t have proof that Tehran was concerned in Hamas’ weekend offensive.

“With regards to this particular assault, on this second, we don’t have direct proof that Iran was concerned within the assault, both in planning it or carrying it out,” Blinken mentioned. “However that would change.”

Republicans have criticized the Biden administration for what they mentioned was a lax method in direction of Iran following a prisoner trade deal that noticed 5 imprisoned People launched and the U.S. in trade granting the discharge of about $6 billion in frozen Iranian property.

However Blinken mentioned these assaults are coming both from people who find themselves misinformed or spreading misinformation.

He defined that the cash in query was allowed to accrue in a checking account in South Korea from the sale of Iranian oil, noting that the Trump administration established the mechanism and Iranians have been already allowed to spend that cash on humanitarian functions.

Blinken added that Iran had been unable to entry these funds for technical causes, and the Biden administration merely allowed transferring the cash to a different account in Qatar. Below the newest settlement, Tehran may solely spend the cash on humanitarian items underneath the supervision of the U.S. Treasury Division.

Following Saturday’s assault, although, the U.S. and Qatar reportedly agreed to ban Iran from accessing the cash.

Whereas Blinken didn’t instantly touch upon the reported choice, he mentioned Iranians hadn’t used any funds within the account in query.

“Not a greenback of this cash has been spent so far, and we retained the suitable to freeze that account,” Blinken mentioned.

The U.S. secretary of state traveled to Israel Thursday, assembly with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The 2 held joint remarks, the place Blinken expressed the U.S.’s dedication to assist Israel.

“Chances are you’ll be robust sufficient by yourself to defend your self – however so long as America exists, you’ll by no means, ever must,” Blinken mentioned. “We’ll all the time be there by your aspect.”

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