Biden Administration Funding Both Sides of Israel-Iran Conflict

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Biden Administration Funding Both Sides of Israel-Iran Conflict

Recent support from the Biden administration to both Israel and Iran has come under scrutiny as the two nations engage in direct confrontations.

The Biden administration has emerged as a significant supporter of both Israel and Iran, nations that have recently engaged in direct military conflicts. Israel initiated a series of strikes against targets in central Iran on Friday morning local time, retaliating against Iran’s prior missile and drone attack on Israel, which largely failed. Despite the ongoing conflict, Israel has received substantial military aid from the Biden administration, amounting to billions of dollars both before and after October 7—the day Hamas launched a deadly invasion into Israel, killing nearly 1,200 people. However, Iran has also benefited from the Biden administration’s policies, receiving financial and military support prior to its direct confrontation with Israel.

Since October 7, Israel has obtained over 100 military aid packages from the U.S., with only two exceeding a value threshold that mandated public disclosure, totaling approximately $250 million. This aid has included artillery shells, rockets, bombs, and precision munitions. Additionally, the Biden administration is asking Congress for an extra $14.3 billion in aid for Israel, as part of a larger supplemental request for aid to Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific region.

However, future military support to Israel may be at risk, as the Biden administration has warned that its policies might change if Israel does not alter its approach to combatting Hamas in Gaza.

Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation of Defense for Democracies, expressed concerns to the Daily Caller News Foundation, noting, “It looks increasingly like Biden won’t be funding both sides if some Democrats seeking to cut off military support to Israel succeed.” He highlighted that Iran has financially benefitted from a $6 billion ransom payment, a $10 billion sanctions waiver, and significant oil revenues due to lax sanctions enforcement under the Biden administration.

As the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism, Iran faces heavy sanctions, particularly in its oil and energy sectors. While the Biden administration has not formally lifted sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, it has been less stringent in enforcing them compared to the previous Trump administration. Since September 2023, Biden’s Homeland Security Investigations has not seized an Iranian oil shipment, despite it being a chief responsibility of the agency.

In September 2023, the Biden administration unlocked $6 billion in Iranian assets in exchange for the release of five American prisoners held in Iran. Although the administration claimed that the unfrozen funds were intended for “humanitarian purposes,” experts told the DCNF that the fungibility of money means Iran could utilize the $6 billion for other purposes. Michael Bars, a former White House senior communications advisor and National Security Council official, criticized the administration for not providing a clear rationale for not considering the money fungible.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi stated in a September interview with NBC that Iran would use the money “wherever” it wished, reinforcing the concerns about the funds’ usage. “This money belongs to the Iranian people, the Iranian government, so the Islamic Republic of Iran will decide what to do with this money,” Raisi declared.

Michael Bars further commented, “Biden’s disastrous foreign policy has emboldened the Iranian regime by easing President Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions that left Iran broke.” He noted that Iran’s recent