Democrat congresswoman questions Kerry on U.S. boost to Iran banks with terror ties

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A Democratic congresswoman has queried Secretary of State John Kerry on the Obama administration’s reported plan to allow Iran access to the U.S. financial system and whether Iranian banks who have supported terrorism will be included in the plan.

“Reports that Iran may be allowed access to America’s financial system or the U.S. dollar is deeply disturbing,” Rep. Grace Meng of New York said on April 1. “I urge the administration to not move forward with any plan that would do this, and I look forward to getting answers from Secretary Kerry about whether or not it’s true.”

Related: Congress moves to stop Obama from granting Iran added sanctions relief, March 28, 2016

Rep. Grace Meng
Rep. Grace Meng

Meng, who opposed the nuclear agreement with Iran, was referencing reports that the administration is set to allow U.S. dollars to be used by Teheran in currency exchanges as long as no Iranian banks are involved, according to officials who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The congresswoman also requested answers from Kerry about the financial support that Iranian banks have provided to terrorist organizations.

Meanwhile, Iran continues to test ballistic missiles in defiance of UN resolutions.

Earlier this week, the United States and its European allies called on the UN Security Council to take action over Iran’s repeated ballistic missile tests. U.S. officials say the tests are a breach of a United Nations Security Council resolution that endorsed last year’s nuclear framework.

Despite repeated warnings from the Obama administration, which many critics say amount to nothing more than a mild scolding, Iran has vowed to continue to develop its ballistic missile program despite any sanctions in place or imposed in the future.

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