WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The expected sanctions relief to Iran will only have a limited impact on Iran’s overall economic needs of approximately $500 billion, US Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam Szubin said on Wednesday.
“One needs to keep the perspective of the about $500 billion or more that Iran needs to be able to meet real needs, fundamental needs,” Szubin told the Senate Finance Committee.
The relief of international sanctions was a critiical part of the July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to prevent Iran from developing or acquiring a nuclear weapon.
In addition to meeting domestic needs, including infrastructure repairs and paying pensions, the Iranian oil sector is also in need of up to $200 billion in investment, according to the Iranian Oil Minister.
“That [$160 to $200 billion] is not to take their oil sector forward into the future, that is to get it back to baseline, to undo the damage that was done by the sanctions,” Szubin explained.
Many critics of the Iranian nuclear deal have pointed out to the $50 billion relief of sanctions on Iran’s central bank as a “windfall” or “sign on bonus.”
Szubin stated that the $50 billion made available to Iran is in foreign reserves. “That is not spending money,” he said, noting that the Treasury estimates Iran will use the money “primarily for its domestic economy,” as well as leaving some in reserve.
Congress is currently debating whether to lift sanctions on Iran as part of their review of the JCPOA.
The US sanctions were only a part of internationally coordinated sanctions regime aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.