Americans were captured and held prisoner by the Islamic Republic of Iran. For years, these Americans, including Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, were detained as the Obama administration negotiated and concluded the Iran deal. Nowhere in the agreement was the fate of Jason Rezain or any other American jailed in Iran mentioned. Four American prisoners were then suddenly released, in exchange for seven Iranians, some of whom had violated international sanctions. The deal was unfair, not only in the number of prisoners released by each side, but in the rational for detainment. The detained Iranians were violating international law, the Americans were journalists, visitors; benign individuals targeted for no other reason than the seal on their passport. The exchange concluded, however unfair, and the Americans were released home to their families.
Speculation over the reason for the sudden release quickly reached the White House. The public was informed by a senior White House official that the “Iranians wanted a goodwill gesture” as part of the release, and that led to the exchange. That White House official lied, so did President Obama, and now the State Department spokesman John Kirby has confirmed it. He not only lied to the American people when he remarked that there was “nothing nefarious” about this deal, he insulted the intelligence of the American people. When first asked if there was any linkage, the White House flatly denied any connection. State Department spokesman John Kirby denied the cash transfer was done to secure the release of the four Americans.
In the dead of night, an unmarked plane carrying $400 million dollars in foreign currency was not transferred to Iran’s government until the hostages release had been confirmed. Contrary to the lie that these were parallel events without linkage, the State Department spokesman John Kirby now admits that The U.S. withheld a $400 million cash payment to Iran earlier this year as leverage to ensure that American prisoners would be released as the country had promised.
The cash transfer was part of a 1.7 billion dollar settlement between the United States government and Iran. In the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the U.S. government chose not to pay the debt to the revolutionary government.
The spread of radical Islamic terror by Sunni fundamentalist groups has emerged as a major threat to national security around the globe. 9/11 opened a slight path forward for normalizing relations between the U.S.-Iran in an effort to cooperate against Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other Salafi and Wahhabi Sunni organizations seeking to wipe Shias from the map and destroy the United States. The story that the United States government gave 400 million in cash to Iran, without any transparency, is likely to set US-Iran relations back even further as the Obama administration faces a new backlash from the public.