WHAT, YOU THOUGHT IRAN RELEASED THE AMERICAN HOSTAGES BECAUSE THEY RESPECTED AND FEARED OBAMA?
The WSJ is reporting that the Obama administration sent $400 million to Iran as Americans were freed from the terror state. However, Barack Hussein Obama claims that there was no quid pro quo, and it was not a ransom as critics have charged. Oh, of course it was just a coincidence. REALLY? And if you believe that one I have a private email server to sell you from Hillary Clinton’s bathroom that did not contain top secret emails. Interestingly enough, the Iranian press reports have quoted senior Iranian defense officials describing the cash as a ransom payment. How sad has it become in America when one believes the Iranian media over the President of the United States?
The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.
Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland, they said.
The money represented the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 fall of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Senior U.S. officials denied any link between the payment and the prisoner exchange. They say the way the various strands came together simultaneously was coincidental, not the result of any quid pro quo.
“As we’ve made clear, the negotiations over the settlement of an outstanding claim…were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said. “Not only were the two negotiations separate, they were conducted by different teams on each side, including, in the case of The Hague claims, by technical experts involved in these negotiations for many years.”
But U.S. officials also acknowledge that Iranian negotiators on the prisoner exchange said they wanted the cash to show they had gained something tangible.
Powerline points out some of the specifics of the Obama ransom for hostages deal with Iran.
(1) It was indeed a ransom payment – negotiators originally established a formula of people for people: American nationals held by Iran for Iranian nationals held by America. But then the Iranians started demanding billions of dollars as well. Iranian officials later bragged they coerced the ransom out of U.S. diplomates —
The U.S. and Iran entered into secret negotiations to secure the release of Americans imprisoned in Iran in November 2014… The discussions… initially focused solely on a formula whereby Iran would swap the Americans detained in Tehran for Iranian nationals held in U.S. jails… But around Christmas, the discussions dovetailed with… the old arms deal. The Iranians were demanding the return of $400 million… They also wanted billions of dollars as interest accrued since then… a report by an Iranian news site close to the Revolutionary Guard, the Tasnim agency, said the cash arrived in Tehran’s Mehrabad airport on the same day the Americans departed. Revolutionary Guard commanders boasted at the time that the Americans had succumbed to Iranian pressure. “Taking this much money back was in return for the release of the American spies,” said Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi, commander of the Guard’s Basij militia, on state media.
(2) The administration hid the details from Congress – Lawmakers have been pressing the administration for six months to provide more details about how and where the money went, among other things because Iran has been transferring money for military purposes. They’ve made little progress —
The Obama administration has refused to disclose how it paid any of the $1.7 billion, despite congressional queries, outside of saying that it wasn’t paid in dollars. Lawmakers have expressed concern that the cash would be used by Iran to fund regional allies, including the Assad regime in Syria and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, which the U.S. designates as a terrorist organization. The U.S. and United Nations believe Tehran is subsidizing the Assad regime’s war in Syria through cash and energy shipments. Iran has acknowledged providing both financial and military aid to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and deploying Iranian soldiers there.