Obama put Iran's ballistic missile program back in business
The Washington Free Beacon reports that the Obama administration put Iran's ballistic missile program back in business
by removing sanctions on its primary bank, and then lied to Congress about it for nine months.
The Obama administration misled journalists and lawmakers for more
than nine months about a secret agreement to lift international
sanctions on a critical funding node of Iran’s ballistic missile
program, as part of a broader “ransom” package earlier this year that
involved Iran freeing several U.S. hostages, according to U.S. officials
and congressional sources apprised of the situation.
The administration agreed to immediately lift global restrictions on Iran’s Bank Sepah—a bank the Treasury Department described
in 2007 as the “linchpin of Iran’s missile procurement”–eight years
before they were to be lifted under last summer’s comprehensive nuclear
agreement. U.S. officials initially described the move as a “goodwill
gesture” to Iran.
The United States also agreed to provide Iran $1.7 billion in cash to
release or drop charges against 21 Iranians indicted for illegally
assisting Tehran. Full details of this secret agreement were kept hidden
from Congress and journalists for more than nine months, multiple
sources told the Washington Free Beacon.
State Department officials who spoke to the Free Beacon now
say the United States “already made” the decision to drop U.S.
sanctions, but declined to address multiple questions aimed at
clarifying the discrepancy between past and current explanations for
dropping international sanctions.
Senior Iranian officials said in January that the $1.7 billion
payment and delisting of Bank Sepah were part of the agreement to free
U.S. hostages, a charge the Obama administration denied at the time.
“The annulment of sanctions against Iran’s Bank Sepah and reclaiming
of $1.7mln of Iran’s frozen assets after 36 years showed that the U.S.
doesn’t understand anything but the language of force,” Mohammad Reza
Naqdi, commander of Iran’s Basij Volunteer Force, told Iran’s state-controlled press in early February.
Senior congressional sources apprised of the matter told the Free Beacon
that these latest revelations provide further proof of the
administration’s intentional bid to deceive the public about its
dealings with Iran.
“Facts are facts, no matter how much the administration tries to hide
them,” said one senior congressional aide involved in investigating the
matter. “Journalists and Members of Congress are on the trail and have
already uncovered so much, including the cash payment of almost $2
billion to the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism as a ransom
for four American hostages. The truth, no matter how disturbing it is,
will continue to come out.”
“This should eliminate any remaining doubt that the administration
paid a ransom to Iran,” said another source familiar with the issue.
“Why else would they keep Congress and the American people in the dark
about this unprecedented concession? President Obama’s continued
capitulation to the Iranian regime is a hazard to our national
Another source who serves as a senior adviser to Congress and is familiar with the administration’s thinking told the Free Beacon
that the Obama administration misled the public to avoid sparking
outrage over its decision to drop sanctions on the top funder of Iran’s
ballistic missile program.
“The Obama administration couldn’t tell the American public that it
had just unleashed Iran’s ballistic missile program as one part of an
enormous ransom extracted by Iran,” the source said. “So instead they
ran to friendly reporters to misleadingly boast about how successful
their diplomacy was, while they were bribing Iran with billions of
dollars and military concessions to stay at the table.”
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington, D.C.-based
think tank, described the administration’s move as putting Iran’s
ballistic missile program “back in business.”
“It represents a unilateral dismantling of the international ballistic missile embargo against the Islamic Republic,” FDD wrote in a recent policy analysis. “Iran’s preferred missile-financing bank is back in business.”
Can't wait to see what comes out after the elections. Maybe they'll even find that missing Obama video
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, intercontinental ballistic missiles, Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran sanctions regime, Iranian nuclear threat, Iranian Revolutionary Guard