Biden Questioned About Major Iranian Money Scheme

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( – Senators Elizabeth Warren and Angus King have expressed concerns to key figures in the Biden administration about Iran’s cryptocurrency mining activities, which they allege helps the country evade sanctions. In a letter addressed to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, they highlight that Iran has generated significant revenue from crypto mining. This revenue reportedly supports its ability to fund imports, transfer funds both domestically and internationally, and finance organizations like Hamas, which the U.S. designates as a terrorist group.

The senators underscore the threat these activities pose to U.S. national security. They point out that the lucrative nature of cryptocurrency mining, particularly Bitcoin mining, has benefited Iran, despite the heavy sanctions imposed on the country due to its nuclear program. They note that between 2015 and 2021, over $186 million was funneled into Iranian crypto platforms, making Iran one of the top Bitcoin producers globally by 2021.

Warren and King are seeking detailed information from the administration about the extent of Iran’s crypto mining and its implications, including its use in funding terrorist activities, military endeavors, or weapons development. They have also inquired about the steps the administration is taking to mitigate these risks.

This inquiry follows a similar request by Warren and Senator Roger Marshall earlier in the week, focusing on how countries like Russia, Iran, and North Korea use cryptocurrencies to circumvent international sanctions. They raised specific concerns about Russia using the stablecoin Tether to procure arms for its conflict in Ukraine, despite existing U.S. sanctions.

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