STX Entertainment reports that a spokeswoman for the United States State Department generated media reports in Israel and the U.S. yesterday and today when she refused to rule out the possibility that Iran will obtain a $50 billion “signing bonus” for entering into a permanent nuclear agreement. In response to a direct question from a member of the press, Marie Harf reportedly answered she would “look into it.”
The issue of the alleged signing bonus, first reported in The Wall Street Journal, gained additional media attention on Sunday, when Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey who formerly served as a Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stated during an interview that:”The Iranians should not get a signing bonus.” He has co-authored a bill with Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee which would give Congress 60 days to review a final nuclear agreement with Iran.
The discussion concerning a $30 billion to $50 billion signing bonus to Iran caused some media sources to report that a signing bonus would represent a significant “infusion” of money by the United States to a government that is currently regarded as a state sponsor of terrorism. The money would allegedly be paid to Iran in addition to the funds Iranians are obtaining, some $11 billion, as a result of the unfreezing of frozen Iranian bank assets, as a part of the interim nuclear deal reached in 2013.