Kerry says some Iran funds may end up in 'terrorists' hands

John Kerry alleged that 'some' funds Iran will recover from sanctions may possibly reach groups that US classifies as "terrorist"

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to members of the travelling media during the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland January 21, 2016

Some of the funds Iran will recover as a result of sanctions relief could reach groups that Washington considers “terrorist” organisations, US Secretary of State John Kerry alleged on Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

His comments came as the US last week lifted a series of sanctions imposed upon Iran over its nuclear program as part of the nuclear deal reached between Iran and the world powers.

A CNBC broadcaster asked Kerry whether a portion of the funds by lifting sanctions would be directed at organisations Washington labels as “terrorist”, Kerry replied by saying, "I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC or of other entities, some of which are labelled terrorists."

"I'm just trying to be honest. I can’t tell people that no, some amount might not. But we don’t believe that that is what has made the difference in the activities of Iran in the region," Kerry said.

As a result of the implementation of the nuclear deal, lifting of economic restrictions will benefit Iran an estimated $55 billion, according to US Department of Treasury estimates.

The US had imposed fresh sanctions on Iranian companies over a recent ballistic missile test where 11 entities and individuals linked to the missile programme are barred from using the US banking system.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was also in Davos, criticised new US sanctions related to Iran's missile program.

"I find it rather bizarre that the United States expresses concern over the Iranian missile programme, which is defensive and does not violate any current international regulation," Zarif said Wednesday.