The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday dropped a bombshell on the Obama administration by reporting that a secret airlift of cash in various currencies totaling $400 million was delivered to Iran, a move that “coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran.”
The newspaper said that this delivery “represented the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration, reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 fall of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.”
But eyebrows and questions are being raised about the timing.
Fox News is reporting that “Republicans are fuming” over the report. Fox quoted Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, who had this to say:
“Paying ransom to kidnappers puts Americans even more at risk. While Americans were relieved by Iran’s overdue release of illegally imprisoned American hostages, the White House’s policy of appeasement has led Iran to illegally seize more American hostages.”
The WSJ quoted Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who complained that the payment was “a $1.7 billion ransom to the ayatollahs for U.S. hostages.”
No U.S. currency was involved in the cash transfer, Fox News reported. The WSJ noted, however, that “wooden pallets” were “stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies.”
Adding to the controversial scenario, the newspaper noted that the money was flown to Iran in “an unmarked cargo plane” according to U.S. and European officials.
The WSJ quoted State Department spokesman John Kirby, who insisted that the negotiations over paying the settlement with Iran over the decades-old arms deal “were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home.” He said the two negotiations were separate and “conducted by different teams on each side.”
However, the newspaper also noted that U.S. officials “acknowledge that Iranian negotiators on the prisoner exchange said they wanted the cash to show they had gained something tangible.”
Whether this becomes a campaign issue remains to be seen. Although Barack Obama is not running, his would-be successor, Hillary Clinton, is seen by many to represent a four-year extension of his programs, and a protector of his legacy.
- Video: Hacked emails show Hillary armed jihadists in Syria — including…
- Mitt Romney Admits He Could See Trump in the White House
- Washington concealed carry: Nearly 8,000 new CPLs in JulyIf you haven’t checked out and liked our Facebook page, please go here and do so.