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US, Qatar reportedly agree to pause Iran's access to $6 billion fund

The Biden administration faced mounting congressional pressure to punish Iran over the surprise attack on Israel carried out by its proxy, Hamas.
Iranians attend a gathering in Tehran on October 7, 2023, to express their solidarity with Palestine after Hamas militants launched a deadly air, land and sea assault into Israel from the Gaza Strip. A senior adviser to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced support for a deadly attack by Hamas on Israel, calling it a "proud operation". (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The US and Qatari governments have reportedly agreed to prevent Iran from accessing the $6 billion in oil revenue unfrozen as part of its deal to swap prisoners with the United States last month, multiple news outlets said Thursday. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not confirm the reports but said none of the funds "have actually been spent or accessed in any way by Iran." 

“We have strict oversight over the funds, and we retain the right to freeze them," Blinken told reporters in Israel on Thursday. 

His comments came after Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo reportedly told House Democrats that Washington and Doha had agreed to block Iran's access to the $6 billion recently unlocked for the Iranian government to spend on humanitarian goods such as food and medicine. According to The Washington Post, Adeyemo told lawmakers the money “isn’t going anywhere anytime soon." 

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