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Kerry Estimates $50 Billion 'Windfall' From Lifting Iran Sanctions

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has repeated his department's estimate that Iran will receive a windfall of only about $50 billion from the lifting of economic sanctions, not $150 billion as widely reported.

"Our estimates are it's somewhere in the vicinity of $50 billion to $55 billion at some point in time, but it's way below that right now," Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on February 25.

"In fact, they are complaining about the slowness with which there has been a process of repatriation" of the money frozen abroad for years under sanctions, he said.

The State Department has said the windfall is much smaller than expected because much of the money is tied up for repaying debts.

Kerry also said Iran has withdrawn a "significant number" of its Revolutionary Guards troops from the Syrian battlefield, apparently in anticipation of a truce due to take effect there on February 27.

"Their presence is actually reduced in Syria," Kerry said. "That doesn't mean that they're still not engaged and active in the flow of weapons from Syria through Damascus to Lebanon. We're concerned about that and there's an ongoing concern."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP