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Thursday, March 24, 2016

US paid $1.7 billion ransom for American sailors held hostage by Iran

Greetings from an unnamed European airport with poor internet access (except on my phone curiously enough). I will try to post what I can.

Remember those US Navy personnel that were taken hostage by Iran in January? Well it seems that the United States paid $1.7 billion in ransom for their release.
The transfer was agreed upon in January, but only came to light after Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) called for an inquiry into a $1.7 billion payment to Iran. He suggested that the money was given to encourage Iran to release hostages.
An assistant secretary for legislative affairs has now provided the Administration's answer to the charges. She claims that the talks focus on clearing up Iranian legal claims against the US, and have been ongoing since 2014. She added that concluding the issues is worth billions of dollars in public money.
The legal issues deal with a large arms deal between the two countries that was signed before the 1979 Iranian revolution. After terrorists besieged the US embassy and took officials hostage, the US canceled the deal. The case is still under review at the Iran-US Claims Tribunal at the Hague.
Iran’s "fact-intensive claims involve over 1,000 separate contracts between Iran and the United States," the assistant secretary explained. 
There has been no answer to Pompeo's question of whether the payments were intended to convince Tehran to free a group of American prisoners, which it did shortly after the US agreed to hand over the money.
"It would not be in the interest of the United States to discuss further details of the settlement of these claims in an unclassified letter due to the ongoing litigation at the Tribunal," the State Department told Pompeo.
An inside source warned the Free Beacon, "When Iran releases American hostages, and then, on that same day, President Obama announces he is paying Iran $1.7 billion, Congress of course has to ask the hard questions. And when the Obama administration admits that over $1 billion in taxpayer money is going to the Iranian regime, Congress is obligated to respond. The State Department has ducked and dodged–providing a history lesson on international tribunals, focused on actions decades ago, instead of addressing dangerous misdeeds that were potentially just committed. That is suspicious."
Most transparent administration evah?

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