Rep. Ed Deutsch (D., Fla.) grilled Secretary of State John Kerry about the Iran nuclear deal Tuesday, saying that U.S. concessions to Iran would mean billions more for terrorist groups like Hezbollah.
Iran will receive between $100 billion and $150 billion in previously frozen assets if it abides by the initial strictures of the nuclear agreement. Iran will also profit from access to world financial markets and hundreds of billions of dollars in business activity.
A frustrated Deutsch took on Kerry’s claim that only about $56 billion of the more than $100 billion in frozen funds could be used by Iran for terrorism. That amount, Deutsch said, would be a windfall for anti-Semitic terror proxies like Hezbollah.
"It has been reported that $200 million a year is the amount they [the Iranians] use to fund Hezbollah," Deutsch said. "So if only $1 billion of the $56 [billion] were to go to Hezbollah, we would double their support for five years at which time the arms embargo comes off and they are considerably more dangerous."
"We have to acknowledge that is a possibility," Deutsch said.
Kerry responded that Iran’s support for terrorism could be dealt with through diplomacy once the nuclear issue was resolved.
"Congressman, we can put the arms—there are plenty of opportunities to deal with the arms," Kerry said. "There's a U.N. resolution preventing them from taking weapons to Hezbollah, there’s a resolution preventing them from taking weapons to Iraq, to the Houthis."
The U.N.’s paper measures against Iran have so far not stopped the Islamic republic from providing material support for terrorist groups and rogue regimes.
Iran’s allies, notably embattled Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad, have praised the nuclear deal. Assad receives billions per year in economic assistance from Iran, and earlier this month was given another $1 billion line of credit by an Iranian regime that anticipates new riches within a year.
Terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas receive less money from Iran, but as Obama administration officials conceded Tuesday, their terrorist tactics do not require large amounts of money to have a deadly effect.