The Iran deal gets muckier
President Barack Obama’s administration said Thursday that a $400 million cash payment to the government of Iran seven months ago was, indeed, contingent on the release of a group of American prisoners after all.
Earlier, the Obama administration had refused to acknowledge any link at all between the two events, even after critics described the situation as a “hostages for ransom’’ arrangement.
The state department, through spokesman John Kirby, said, however, that negotiations to “return the Iranian money’’ reportedly from a military equipment deal that the U.S. made with the shah of Iran in the 1970s were made separately from the deal with the same government of Iran to free four U.S. citizens being held by the same government in Iran.
Kirby added that the U.S. government withheld delivery of the $400 million “as leverage’’ until the government of Iran freed the four U.S. hostages.
Why does it feel now like there are still a lot more secrets to be discovered about this complex foreign policy deal that some say gives Iran the capability to produce nuclear weapons?
The shah of Iran - who was supported by the U.S. government - was ousted in the 1970s. Why did the Obama administration feel obligated to give $400 million to successor regimes (not supported by the U.S. government) that ousted the shah?
Iran’s current government got $400 million for freeing the four U.S. hostages. What else don’t we know about this deal? In his attempt at legacy-building in his final year of office, what else did our president do?