Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Iran’s Frozen Assets

Secretary of State John Kerry believes that the public bitterness between Israel and the Obama administration regarding the Iran nuclear deal is over.  
He met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum after the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, lifted U.S. sanctions on Tehran.  Kerry said: "The fight's over.  I think he recognized that the fight's over and we can move on."
Benjamin Netanyahu, who was one of the most vocal critics of the Iranian deal, seems to have accept that the nuclear deal, and that is the key to a successful implementation.
Israeli officials say privately that the nuclear threat posed by Iran has been eclipsed for the time being by the threat posed by Iranian-backed terror groups like Hezbollah, who some fear will receive increased funding from Iran because of the sanctions relief.
Kerry insists the amount of money Iran will receive due to sanctions relief will be $55 billion.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew explained: “There is a lot of discussion out there that Iran is going to somehow get $150 billion as soon as sanctions are lifted.  That is incorrect.”  Actually,  Iran won’t be able to access the money that has been locked up overseas due to sanctions because that money has already been committed elsewhere. 
Over $20 billion of Iran’s frozen assets has already been committed to infrastructure projects with China.  Lew estimated that it will cost Iran between $100 billion and $200 billion to restore production levels in its oil and gas sector. 
Our current 10-year defense pack with Israel expires next year.  Netanyahu has requested a boost in annual U.S. funding from $3 to $5 billion.  Israel offers a much better social safety net to its citizens, than we do. 


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