US finalizes deal with Iran to release 5 Americans: report

The U.S. has reportedly reached an agreement with Iran to unfreeze $6 billion of funds to Tehran for the release of five American prisoners, a deal Republicans have criticized as catering to a foreign adversary.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed off on the agreement last week, issuing a blanket waiver for international banks to allow for the transfer of the $6 billion of Iranian funds frozen in South Korea to a bank in Qatar, according to the Associated Press.

The Hill has reached out to the State Department for comment.

A potential deal emerged last month when Iran moved four American prisoners out of an infamous prison in Tehran to house arrest. A fifth U.S. citizen was already at the location.

As part of the deal, Qatar is expected to mediate the use of the unfrozen funds, which are proceeds from Iran’s oil sales to South Korea that were frozen by the U.S. as relations have soured.

U.S. officials have said they expect the funds to only be used for humanitarian purposes, but Republicans said the move would undoubtedly at least free up resources for Iran’s military spending.

Top House Republicans have also accused the U.S. of negotiating with Iran to decrease its nuclear production as part of the deal, a point the Biden administration has denied. The administration has sought unsuccessfully to revive a nuclear pact with Iran for the past two years.

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