Kerry: Iran Is Not Getting $150 Billion; ‘That Is a Fictional Number’
HAASS: “Good morning, Mr. secretary."
KERRY: "Good morning, Richard."
HAASS: "Now that the Iranians are going to have access to significant resources that have [indecipherable] been frozen, do you see any signs so far that there is any difference in their policy toward Syria, towards Lebanon, towards Yemen that what you might call the imperial push of Iranian policy? Why is the reason to think it would be muted now that they have access to resources that they didn’t have before?”
KERRY: “Well, I don’t think anybody’s been running around beating their chest saying all these things are going to be muted, Richard. I want to take advantage of this just -- in your question to make something crystal clear. Joe, I’ve heard you, I hear the 'Wall Street Journal', I hear people saying they’re going to get $150 billion, they’re going to get $150 billion. No, they are not. That is a fictional number. I don’t know where it comes from. They will get about $55 billion over a period of time and Iran has well over $500 to $700 $800 million of requirements just to build its oil drilling capacity back, just to begin to build, it's infrastructure back. They have massive needs within their country and we will be able to track where this money is going and what is happening with it. If indeed the IRGC continues activities which have been sanctionable in the past, they will be inviting further sanctions. So this is a moment of test for everybody. But they are not --”
SCARBOROUGH: “So, Mr. Secretary, I want to clarify. We've heard -- originally we heard $150 billion and certainly not just from the 'Wall Street journal' [and myself, it’s been reported 150,] we saw 100 billion across news agencies across the world. You’re saying the number is closer to 55 billion?”
KERRY: “That is correct. The number actually released by the lifting of the sanctions. Now, what some people may be doing is calculating something that may come from a business deal with airbus or a business deal with —“ [crosstalk]
SCARBOROUGH: “You’re talking about calculating future deals perhaps?”
KERRY: “I think that is possible. But the actual money released -- [crosstalk] -- the Treasury Department and others have scoped that very carefully --"
KERRY: "-- and they calculate it at $55 billion over a period of time.”