WASHINGTON—In the three years since a preliminary nuclear deal was struck with Iran, Tehran has received more than $10 billion in sanctions relief from around the world in the form of cash and gold, according to current and former U.S. officials.
The large shipments of gold and cash, from oil funds unfrozen in numerous countries, represent the kind of financial relief that made Iran’s leaders eager to complete the international nuclear accord. Some of the cash and gold went to Iran while the U.S. and other world powers negotiated with Tehran on a final nuclear deal. More shipments took place after final deal went into effect last January.
This tallying of the sanctions relief to date includes payments previously announced and others that haven’t been. In one previously unreported payment, the U.S. authorized Iran to receive $1.4 billion in sanctions relief between when the final deal was struck in July 2015 and when it took effect, according to the U.S. officials.
Some U.S. lawmakers and Middle East allies contend that the shipments of cash and gold, a highly liquid form of money, can be used to fund Iran’s allies in the region, including the Assad regime in Syria, the Lebanese militia Hezbollah and the Houthi political movement in Yemen.