Saturday, August 6, 2016
When a Ransom Is Not a Ransom
By Jim Emerson, staff writer
On January 17, 2016 the Obama administration secretly airlifted $400 million worth of Euros, Swiss francs and other foreign currencies to Iran around (or AT) the same time four American prisoners were released by the Islamic republic. On the surface it appears to be a ransom payment, but the Obama administration insists that was not the case. The timing was just a coincidence; the fact being that seven Iranians held by the United States were actually exchanged for the Americans.
Officials were quick to deny any payment for hostages, insisting the $400 million was a down payment on a $1.7 billion settlement to resolve a failed 1979 arms deal. Iran demanded the return of the $400 million which had been paid to the Pentagon by Iran, shortly before the fall of Iran's last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The money had been paid to the U.S. for the purchase of American manufactured fighter jets. After the fall of the Shah, all trade with Iran was halted and all Iranian assets in the United States were frozen. Iran has been fighting for a return of the funds in international courts since 1981. The Administration insists the agreement on the release of the prisoners dovetailed with the resolution of parallel negotiations over the dispute of the failed arms deal. The Iranians filed a claim with The Hague, limiting the administration's ability to lay claim to the fund. The Iranians were trying to sue the United States for $1.7 Billion and the White House is claiming that America got a better deal by returning $400 million.
The payment was made in cash because Iran has been cut off from global banks and there was no other way to get them the money. The Obama administration insists the payment did not constitute ransom and that there was no quid pro quo for the money. They were separate negotiations from the start. This claim from the Regime that insisted the Benghazi attacks were caused by a YouTude video!
Why $400 Million is Significant.
When the Shah was ousted in 1979, the $400 million was placed into a US-based trust fund which was frozen during the American Embassy Hostage crisis. Since 1981 Iran has been fighting for a return of the funds through international courts. Obama just nullified a Clinton administration agreement to pay the $400 million to Americans who had won lawsuits against Iran in US courts. The families of victims had sued the Islamic Republic for deaths and kidnapping or state sponsored terrorist attacks. Obama just put the American taxpayer on the hook for the payments on the behalf of a terrorist nation with nuclear ambitions. In short, he just pardoned Iranian terrorists!
This week Former US Iranian Hostage, Pastor Saeed Abedni, told FOX Business Network’s Trish Regan that the “Iranian regime would not let his plane leave Tehran until the ransom plane arrived.” “Commander of Iran's Basij (volunteer) Force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi said the US agreed to release $1.7 of Iran's frozen funds in a bid to buy freedom of its spies held by Tehran.” Obama and John Kerry “agreed to repay Iran a $400 million debt and $1.3 billion in interest dating to the Islamic revolution.”
One wonders why the American Media isn’t reporting this.
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