Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal detailed the timely and suspicious $400 million payment that the U.S. made to Iran earlier this year, now reporting that the U.S. pointedly held onto the cash until American prisoners held in Iran were freed. This seems to confirm earlier suspicions that the payment made to Iran was a clear-cut ransom.
President Obama and other U.S. officials have claimed that the payment doesn’t equate to ransom because the payment was owed to Iran as part of a failed arms deal in the 1970s. But this new information makes it clear that the Obama administration was extorted to pay $400 million in exchange for the freedom of American prisoners and salvation of the dangerous Iran Nuclear Deal.
While the administration has desperately attempted to spin the payment as a good deal for the American taxpayers, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Even some in the President’s Justice Department have raised questions about the payment and The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the Justice Department’s head of national security division raised objections to this maneuver, fearing that the payment would be viewed as a ransom that it appears to be.
American citizens are now in greater danger since Iran has an additional incentive to imprison American citizens because of the success they now can tout in extorting the U.S. out of hundreds of millions of dollars. Unsurprisingly, two Americans have already been detained by the Iran Revolutionary Guard since the ransom was paid.
President Obama even knows the danger this ransom poses, as he had mentioned in a February 2016 interview with BuzzFeed News:
“The one thing that we have held to is a policy of not paying ransoms with an organization like ISIL, and the reason is once we start doing that not only are we financing their slaughter of innocent people and strengthening their organization, but we’re actually making Americans even greater targets for future kidnappings.”
This latest report that seems to confirm a ransom payment was made to the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism just proves that this administration’s continued resolve to score political victories is far more important to them than the safety of Americans around the world.