The Treasury Department this week admitted that any funds sent to Iran directly go toward funding "violent" activities of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps "before it’s ever used for their people and humanitarian aid." 

Sen. Tim Scott is now demanding answers from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, after Deputy Secretary Adewale Adeyemo testified about Iran's use of humanitarian aid before the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on Tuesday. 

Adeyemo testified in response to questions from Scott, R-S.C., about the "fungible nature of so-called humanitarian assistance." 

"What we’ve seen time and time from the Iranian regime, is that they fail to feed their people and they put the IRGC first," Adeyemo said. "Any dollar they have will go towards violent activity before they deal with their people." 

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Adeyemo said that is "partially why almost none of the humanitarian money has been used for humanitarian purposes, because they don’t care about getting drugs and food for their people." 

"In Iran, they’ve proven that any dollar they get, that they have direct access to in the country, will be used for the IRGC before it’s ever used for their people," Adeyemo added. 

Sen. Tim Scott unveils plan to empower parents and defend children

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is interviewed by Fox News, on July 18, 2023 ahead of Scott's town hall in Salem, New Hampshire. (Fox News - Paul Steinhauser)

Fox News Digital obtained a letter Scott sent to Yellen following his testimony. 

"Treasury plays a critical role in ensuring the national security of our country through its toolkit to stop illicit financing and curb the flow of funds that support bad actors," Scott said, adding that he still has "serious concerns with U.S.-enabled efforts that increase Iran’s access to sanctioned funds—funds that directly support Iran’s terror proxies throughout the Middle East." 

Scott said Adeyemo’s testimony "has only elevated" his concerns, noting that Adeyemo made it "abundantly clear that the current sanctions relief and humanitarian assistance scheme provided to Iran are not viable solutions, and rather deteriorate U.S. national security interests." 

U.S. Treasury Department building

The U.S. Treasury Department building in Washington on June 6, 2019. The United States has imposed terrorism sanctions on a family network spanning seven individuals and businesses across Lebanon and South America, alleged to have provided financial support to the militant group Hezbollah. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)



"Alarmingly, under your watch, Iran has increased its oil exports, with China serving as the largest purchaser," Scott wrote. "This increase has led to billions in additional revenue for the regime, which, as Treasury testified, will almost certainly go to fund violent terror activity." 

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Scott said that given the "proven track-record Iran has on redirecting so-called humanitarian assistance to ‘violent activity,’ as characterized by Treasury, we must operate under the assumption that every dollar made available to Iran is another dollar that will be used to put U.S. servicemembers in harm’s way or threaten our allies, especially Israel." 

"In light of this, I am requesting an accounting of all international high-value Iranian assets around the world that are currently blocked by U.S. sanctions as well as additional steps Treasury will now take to actively account for current funds that have already been released to Iran," Scott wrote. "Not a single dollar, euro, or dinar, sanctioned by the United States should ever be released to Iran when this Administration actively recognizes that any money to Iran supports terrorism."

But the Treasury Department said there are two different types of funds — humanitarian aid, which they say are tied up in banks outside of Iran that would get sent into the country by third parties, and any money that is already inside Iran. 

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in Tehran

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting with nuclear scientists and personnel of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, in Tehran, Iran, on Sunday, June 11.? (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA/Reuters?)

A Treasury official pointed Fox News Digital to a separate section of Adeyemo's testimony in which he says the humanitarian money is "tied up in financial institutions" and insisted that "none of that money will ever see its way to Iran." 

As for the other type of funds, Adeyemo said that while in the U.S. "money is fungible, in Iran, they've proven that any dollar they get that they have direct access to in the country will be used for the IRGC before it's ever used for their people." 

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Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., asked Adeyemo if humanitarian aid could ever be used as money already held inside Iran, to which Adeyeo replied: "No. None of those dollars have gone to Iran. None of those dollars will go to Iran."

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