$400 Million Cash Airlift to Iran – was it a payoff?
The very same day that American prisoners held in Tehran were freed in January, the Obama administration sent an unmarked cargo jet with $400 Million to Tehran. The government has denied it was a payoff. But as we know, timing is everything.
Denials about a secret payment
The government insisted that the negotiations over the Iran deal, the prisoners, and the $400M settlement were totally separate. But as usual with this administration, no one believes it, since word of the payment only came out on Tuesday after Rouhani complained about the US.
The cash is reportedly money paid by the previous government of Iran for US weapons prior to the 1979 takeover by Islamic hardliners. Since the weapons were never delivered, Iran wanted their money back.
“As we’ve made clear, the negotiations over the settlement of an outstanding claim at the Hague Tribunal were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home…The funds that were transferred to Iran were related solely to the settlement of a longstanding claim at the U.S.-Iran Claims Tribunal at The Hague.” John Kirby, State Department spokesman
The Wall Street Journal reported that Iran wanted the payment prior to the release of the prisoners as a “good faith move” by the U.S.
The NY Daily News reported,
Officials told The Wall Street Journal that wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were secretly flown into Iran on the plane in January, the same day the U.S. exchanged seven Iranians for four American citizens who had been detained.
The Obama administration secretly arranged the Jan. 17 airlift after negotiating a $1.7 billion settlement with Iran relating to the sale of military equipment dating to 1979, according to The Journal.
The ‘payoff’ Obama failed to mention
In the middle of the prisoners being freed and the Nuclear Deal, Obama just ‘accidentally’ failed to mention $400 Million in cash delivered to Iran.
They wanted cash, so the US had to go to Switzerland and the Netherlands to have the money transferred into their central bank so that cash could be delivered to Iran.
Iran is still complaining that the US is thwarting the full implementation of the nuclear deal because there are still $2 Billion in Iranian assets here that were frozen in 2009. The US Supreme Court says that American victims of terror activity can sue Iran- that money could become part of any settlement.
As to the $400 Million being a payoff – Obama knew it would create a firestorm, that’s why he had it done secretly. With this president, it’s always something.