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Tags: ryan zinke | u.s. | intelligence | iran | hamas | biden administration | terrorist attack

Rep. Zinke to Newsmax: Lax Iran View Led to US Intel Miss on Hamas

By    |   Thursday, 12 October 2023 08:03 PM EDT

Some have questioned why U.S. intelligence agencies did not have prior warning of Iran-backed Hamas' terrorist attack against Israel last weekend.

Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., told Newsmax on Thursday it's possible the U.S. was caught off guard because the Biden administration doesn't view Iran as such a threat in the Middle East, even though Tehran is widely regarded as the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism.

"We're in intelligence denial when you don't recognize Iran as a principal threat in the region that is funding a lot of the instability, a lot of the weapons systems," Zinke, a former Task Force commander for the Navy's SEAL Team Six, told "Carl Higbie FRONTLINE." "If you don't recognize where this is coming from ... this administration clearly has a problem in denying where it's coming from."

President Joe Biden has been trying to revive a nuclear deal with Iran reached by Barack Obama — he served as Obama's vice president — that the U.S. pulled out of during the Trump administration. Since Biden took office, the U.S. has relaxed oil export sanctions on Iran, allowing Tehran to reap $80 billion, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

It also freed up $10 billion in Iranian assets held by Iraq and unfroze $6 billion in Iranian assets held by South Korea as ransom for the return of five American hostages.

The Biden administration has been scrambling in recent days to say not a dime of the $6 billion, held by Qatari banks, has been spent.

"We don't really know [if the money has been spent]," Zinke said. "Nor do we know the extent of circumnavigating the sanctions. Remember, the $6 billion that was sent there, they had to skirt the sanctions and send it through a third party because it violated sanctions going direct.

"It seems like this administration has been skirting sanctions a lot and been funding Iran in goods and materials a lot more than what Congress certainly has approved. We need to get the bottom of that."

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Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
Some have questioned why U.S. intelligence agencies did not have prior warning of Iran-backed Hamas' terrorist attack against Israel last weekend.
ryan zinke, u.s., intelligence, iran, hamas, biden administration, terrorist attack, israel
380
2023-03-12
Thursday, 12 October 2023 08:03 PM
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