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

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday stated there isn’t a “direct evidence” linking Iran to Saturday’s assault on Israel by Hamas, regardless that they’re identified to have an in depth relationship.

In an interview with NBC’s “Nightly News,” Blinken stated it’s properly documented that Iran has had an extended relationship with the Palestinian militant group, including that this is without doubt one of the causes that the U.S. has levied sanctions on Iranian people and corporations over 400 occasions since President Joe Biden got here in workplace.

“Hamas wouldn’t be Hamas without the support over many, many years from Iran,” he informed NBC’s Lester Holt. “And so, we know that. We see that.”

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

“When it comes to this specific attack, in this moment, we don’t have direct evidence that Iran was involved in the attack, either in planning it or carrying it out,” Blinken stated. “But that could change.”

Republicans have criticized the Biden administration for what they stated was a lax strategy in direction of Iran following a prisoner alternate deal that noticed 5 imprisoned Americans launched and the U.S. in alternate granting the discharge of about $6 billion in frozen Iranian belongings.

But Blinken stated 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. Under the most recent settlement, Tehran may solely spend the cash on humanitarian items beneath the supervision of the U.S. Treasury Department.

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

While Blinken didn’t instantly touch upon the reported resolution, he stated Iranians hadn’t used any funds within the account in query.

“Not a dollar of this money has been spent to date, and we retained the right to freeze that account,” Blinken stated.

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

“You may be strong enough on your own to defend yourself – but as long as America exists, you will never, ever have to,” Blinken stated. “We will always be there by your side.”