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Administration Secretly Lifts Sanctions On Banks Linked To Iran’s Ballistic-Missile Program

Since agreeing to the Iran Nuclear Deal last year, The Obama Administration has faced bad headline after bad headline that exposes the major flaws of this agreement. From paying ransom to Iran for our hostages to providing a source of wealth for a state-sponsor of terrorism that has the potential to put Americas in danger, it’s clear that making this deal was the wrong move for our country.

The most recent revelation showing the major faults of this agreement comes from a Wall Street Journal report showing that the Obama Administration signed a “secret document” that lifts sanctions on Iranian bank linked to Iran’s ballistic-missile program. Even more suspiciously, the sanctions were lifted on the same day four American hostages were released by Iran:

The Obama administration agreed to back the lifting of United Nations sanctions on two Iranian state banks blacklisted for financing Iran’s ballistic-missile program on the same day in January that Tehran released four American citizens from prison, according to U.S. officials and congressional staff briefed on the deliberations.

In the hours after the documents were signed at a Swiss hotel, the different elements of the agreement went forward: The Americans were released, Iran took possession of the $400 million in cash, and the U.N. Security Council removed sanctions on Bank Sepah and Bank Sepah International, these officials said.

Iran has already violated terms of the Iran Nuclear Deal by conducting up to 10 ballistic missile tests. It would not be surprising to see more of the same as sanctions for the financiers of the ballistic-missile program are lifted.

Although the U.N. sanctions on the banks were not to be lifted until 2023, the administration secretly lifted the sanctions as part of the ransom paid to Iran on Jan. 17:

The U.N. sanctions on the two banks weren’t initially to be lifted until 2023, under a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers that went into effect on Jan. 16.

 The U.N. Security Council’s delisting of the two banks, Bank Sepah and Bank Sepah International, was part of a package of tightly scripted agreements—the others were a controversial prisoner swap and transfer of $1.7 billion in cash to Iran—that were finalized between the U.S. and Iran on Jan. 17, the day the Americans were freed.

The administration is clearly not ashamed of the ransom paid to Iran:

“Lifting the sanctions on Sepah was part of the package,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on the deliberations. “The timing of all this isn’t coincidental. Everything was linked to some degree.”

 A documentary published by Tasnim News Agency, an Iranian media outlet affiliated with the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, claimed in February that Iranian government officials had demanded that Sepah be taken off the sanctions list as part of a deal to release the prisoners.

The Obama Administration’s Iran Nuclear Deal, subsequent ransom payments and now lifting of sanctions on financiers of weapons have all provided Iran with greater incentive to continue its dangerous behavior.  Their tyrannical régime has benefitted from the weak foreign policy decisions of the Obama Administration and continue to threaten American citizens.

 

 

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