The U.S. Treasury Department wired the money to Iran around the same time its theocratic government allowed three American prisoners to fly out of Tehran on Sunday aboard a Dassault Falcon jet owned by the Swiss air force. The prisoner swap also involved freedom for two other Americans held in Iran as well as for seven Iranians charged or convicted by the U.S. and another 21 under investigation.
“Based on an approval of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and the overall interests of the Islamic Republic, four Iranian prisoners with dual-nationality were freed today within the framework of a prisoner swap deal,” the office of the Tehran prosecutor said.
Brigadier General Hassan Naqdi, the head of the Iranian regime’s notorious Basij militia, claimed on Wednesday that Iran had received $1.7 billion from the U.S. in exchange for the release of imprisoned Americans.
Immediately after, an American student from the University of Virginia was arrested in North Korea.
Naqdi told Fars News Agency that the US paid the ransom for “its spies held by Iran” and that it had nothing to do with the nuclear deal.
The report by the government-controlled news agency was titled, “Basij Commander: U.S. Bought Freedom of Spies by Releasing $1.7 bln of Iran’s Frozen Assets.”
“The annulment of sanctions against Iran’s Bank Sepah and reclaiming of $1.7 mln [sic] of Iran’s frozen assets after 36 years showed that the U.S. doesn’t understand anything but the language of force,” Naqdi said. “This money was returned for the freedom of the U.S. spy.”
The US, believe it or not, settled an Iranian legal claim arising from pre-1979 weapons supply agreements, and gave the Iranians an additional $1.3 billion in accumulated interest. The $1.7 billion financial settlement ended a 35-year legal saga that centered on a purchase of U.S. arms by Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, that were never delivered because of the Iranian revolution in 1979. The White House described the settlement as a victory for taxpayers, arguing that the U.S. was likely to lose in arbitration under way in The Hague, Netherlands, and could have been held liable for billions more if the process had dragged on.
Some things are worth fighting for and it’s not at all clear that The Hague would find in their favor though the EU is going to be buying oil from Iran, giving them even more power.
John Kerry said it is “expected” that Iran will use some of the funds they’ve received from the US to sponsor terrorism.
All of this and the easing against sanctions happened immediately before the release of allegedly five Americans though only three have come to the states so far.
“Paul Ryan has suggested this was a ransom payment,” ABC News’ Jon Karl put to Earnest during his daily press briefing.
“He’s wrong about that,” Earnest replied.
“As I understand it, the Department of State announced this payment of $1.7 billion to the government of Iran just before the plane carrying the freed Americans landed in Geneva,” Karl said.
“You’re really telling me that this is an absolute coincidence that this payment just happened to coincide with the precise moment when the American prisoners were flying to freedom?”
When the burnt remains of a Quran were found at Bagram Air Base outside Kabul, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi said “nothing but burning the White House can relieve the wound on us, the Muslims, caused by burning the Quran.”
“Their apology can be accepted only by hanging their commanders; hanging their commanders means an apology,” he added.
In July, Naqdi told Fars that the agreement over his country’s nuclear program announced last week in Vienna will make Iranians hate the U.S. “100 times more” than before the comprehensive agreement was reached.
“Any Iranian who reads the Vienna documents will hate the U.S. 100 times more (than the past),” the commander of Iran’s Basij forces, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi said.
Iran is not our friend and won’t be any tie in the future.
It should also be mentioned that Iran never signed the nuclear deal. We don’t have a deal.