You are watching: Did obama send money to iran

The Obama administration secretly i ordered it a plane delivery of $400 million in cash on the exact same day Iran released 4 American prisoners and formally implemented the atom deal, united state officials confirmed Wednesday.

President Barack Obama approved the $400 million transfer, i beg your pardon he had actually announced in January as part of the Iran atom deal. The money to be flown into Iran on wood pallets stacked through Swiss francs, euros and other currencies as the an initial installment the a $1.7 billion settlement resolving claims in ~ an worldwide tribunal at The Hague end a fail arms transaction under the moment of the Shah.

A fifth American guy was exit by Iran separately.


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Details the the cash distribution drew new condemnation that the Iran deal from Republicans. Lock charged that the administration had empowered a major sponsor of terrorism because the atom agreement permits Tehran come re-enter the international economy and gives it accessibility long-frozen funds.

In addition, they said the cash shipment amounted to a ransom payment the violates long-standing US exercise not to pay for hostages. Together such, they argued, it encourages Iran to hold onto its remaining Americans detainees until they can get an ext money because that them.

“Paying ransom come kidnappers puts american even an ext at risk,” claimed Illinois Republican Sen. Note Kirk. “While Americans were relieved by Iran’s overdue relax of illegally imprisoned American hostages, the White House’s plan of appeasement has actually led Iran to illegally seize an ext American hostages, including Siamak Namazi, his father Baquer Namazi and also Reza Shahini.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald trump jumped on the issue, search to readjust the subject after a punishing week of gaffes and reproaches from members of the GOP.

“Iran was in large trouble, they had sanctions, they to be dying, we took off the sanctions and also made this dreadful deal and now castle a power,” Trump said Wednesday in Daytona, Florida.

“We payment $400 million because that the hostages,” trump said. “Such a bad criterion was set by Obama. We have two an ext hostages there right? What’s space we going to pay for them? What we’re doing is insane.”

democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, as soon as asked about the payment through a neighborhood Denver, Colorado, tv station, said it to be “old news.”

“It was an initial reported about seven or eight month ago, together I recall,” she told Denver’s 9News. “And, so much as i know, it had nothing to do with any kind of kind that hostage swap or any kind of other tit-for-tat. It was something the was plan to, as I am told, pay back Iran because that contracts that were canceled once the shaman fell.”

united state officials stated cash had actually to be flown in because existing US sanctions ban American dollars native being supplied in a transaction v Iran and because Iran could not access the global financial system as result of international sanctions it was under at the time. The details that the how the transaction arisen were very first reported by The wall surface Street Journal. gendergeek.org reported in January that the move of funds had been arrangement.

The money was procured from main banks in Switzerland and also the Netherlands, official said, and an unmarked cargo plane loaded with Swiss francs, euros and also other currencies were flown come Iran.

“They were totally cut off from global banks and also there was no other means to gain them the money,” one an elderly official with understanding of the transaction said.

when the cash transaction took location the exact same day as the relax of Washington post reporter Jason Rezaian and the various other Americans, management officials firmly insist the payment did no constitute ransom and that there were to be no quid pro quo for the payment. They claimed the commitment on the release of the prisoners dovetailed through the resolution that parallel negotiations end the problem of the failed arms deal.

“It’s against the policy of the United states to pay ransom for hostages,” White residence spokesman mockery Earnest claimed Wednesday.

He described the payment as a “conscious strategic decision that was made top top the part of the Obama administration as us were implementing the deal to stop Iran native obtaining a nuclear weapon come resolve other longstanding involves we had actually with Iran.”

“That included securing the release of 5 American citizen who had actually been unjustly detained in Iran, and closing the end a old financial dispute in a means that conserved the American civilization potentially billions that dollars,” he said.




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In return because that the us citizens’ release, the us dropped extradition requests because that 14 Iranian citizens and freed seven. Former FBI certified dealer Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran in 2007, continues to be missing.

Earnest actors those making use of the brand-new details around the palettes of cash as world “flailing to justification their continued opposition to the transaction to avoid Iran indigenous obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

The $400 million to be Iran’s to begin with, put into a US-based trust fund to support American military devices purchases in the 1970s. Once the shah was ousted by a 1979 well-known uprising that caused the development of the Islamic Republic, the united state froze the to trust fund. Iran has been fighting because that a return the the accumulation through worldwide courts because 1981.

In announcing the agreement, Obama claimed that payment the $400 million – to add $1.3 exchange rate in attention – was saving American taxpayers billions of dollars. The Iranians had actually been seeking much more than $10 billion at arbitration.

“For the joined States, this settlement saved us billions that dollars that can have been pursued by Iran,” Obama said in January. “There was no advantage to the United says in dragging this out.”

as it was making the January cash delivery, the US likewise imposed brand-new sanctions top top Iran over its ballistic missile testing. At the very same time, the White residence unfroze a larger pool that Iranian assets, approximated at $100 to $150 billion, as component of the atom deal, though management officials cautioned that Iran would just pocket about $50 billion after legitimate claims.

Legal cases are one of the reasons the payment to Iran to be controversial once Obama very first announced it. The Clinton management had agreed in 2000 come pay that $400 million to american who had actually won lawsuits versus Iran in us courts.

this families and individuals had actually sued the Islamic Republic for damages after the deaths of loved ones or for being the victim themselves the Iran-backed kidnappings or terrorist attacks. At the time, us officials said those families the money would come indigenous Iran.

v Obama’s announcement, it became apparent that the payments had come from united state taxpayers and not from Iran in ~ all.

Stuart Eizenstat, the Clinton administration’s deputy Treasury secretary, said Newsweek the Iran had actually filed a claim with The Hague, limiting the administration’s capacity to lay insurance claim to the fund.

doubters on Wednesday were more incensed by Iranian claims that the cash amounted to a ransom payment because that the 4 prisoners.

“That kind of ransom payment as part of the Iran deal is one outrage,” said Republican Sen. Marco Rubio that Florida.

us officials conceded the the Iranian negotiators affiliated in the sinner exchange claimed they wanted the cash come coincide through the release of the american to prove a deliverable for the exchange even as castle argued versus the characterization that it together a ransom payment.

“As we’ve do clear, the negotiations end the negotiation of an exceptional claim in ~ The Hague Tribunal were fully separate indigenous the discussions about returning our American citizen home,” State department Spokesman man Kirby said, referring to the $1.7 exchange rate payout that the $400 cast installment was part of.

“Not just were (the) two negotiation separate, castle were conducted by various teams on each side, including, in the case of the Hague claims, by technical experts associated in these negotiations for numerous years,” he said. “The funds that were transferred to Iran were related specifically to the negotiation of a long-standing claim at the US-Iran cases Tribunal in ~ The Hague.”

“It’s no surprising that Iran would want to call this a ransom for residential political reasons,” another an elderly US official said. “But the is not the case. The confidence constructed during the Iran nuclear negotiations aided the negotiation in various other areas, so the is true all these points came together at the exact same time together implementation job of the Iran deal. Yet this was not a ransom.”