Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the nation’s top military officer, said Thursday that reports that U.S. payments to Iran will go to the Iranian military are “troubling.”
“It certainly is troubling. The more funds that they have available, obviously the more effective they’ll be in spreading malign influence,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
He was responding to questioning by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), a member of the committee, who referenced recent reports that the Iranian government has approved a law that would allocate to the military a $1.7 billion payment the U.S. made to Iran this year to settle a failed arms deal from the 1970s.
An initial payment of $400 million in cash to Iran coincided with the release of four U.S. prisoners, but the administration has argued it was not a “ransom,” and that the signing of an international nuclear accord in January paved the way for the settlement and a release of prisoners at the same time.
Dunford said he was not consulted on the payment of $1.7 billion.