Kerry: ‘Some’ Iran Deal Money Will End Up in the Hands of Terrorists

January 21, 2016

Secretary of State John Kerry admitted Thursday that terrorists will end up with "some" of the roughly $55 billion that Iran will receive in sanctions relief from the Iran nuclear deal.

"I think that some of [the $55 billion] will end up in the hands of the IRGC or of other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists," Kerry said on CNBC, using an acronym for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Kerry said it was inevitable that some of the money would end up in the wrong hands, but that the funds have not yet gone to "that kind of endeavor."

"You know, to some degree, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented, but I can tell you this. Right now, we are not seeing the early delivery of funds going to that kind of endeavor at this point in time. I'm sure at some point some of it will," Kerry said.

Kerry said that sanctions relief money would not make an appreciable difference in the overall budgets of terrorist groups lined to Iran.

"That has never made the difference in what is happening there," Kerry said, referring to terrorists benefitting from sanctions relief cash.

He went on to say that the roughly $55 billion Iran will receive is a paltry sum compared to the defense budgets of other countries in the region.

"Let me give you an example. The Saudis alone spend $80 billion a year on defense. The entire Gulf State community spends $130 billion a year on defense. Iran spends $15 billion a year on its military activities. So it's so incredibly disproportionate," Kerry said. "I believe that working with our Gulf State partners, which we are going to do and which we are upgrading, we have the ability to guarantee that they will be secure, that we will stand by them, even as we look for this potential of a shift in behavior."

Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.