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Obama administration confirms 2 more payments to Iran

Remigio Civitarese | 09 Settembre, 2016, 10:27

"President Obama may have attempted to appease our enemy with pallets of cash secretly delivered on an unmarked cargo plane, but Iran continues to cheat on the nuclear deal, harass our military, hold Americans hostage, and fund terrorism around the world", Florida senator Marco Rubio, who introduced legislation related to the payment, said in a statement Tuesday.

Summaryāˇ™ Print While Washington's $1.7 billion payment to Iran caused controversy in the United States, it was a non-story in Iran.

Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., questioned State Department officials about why the payment to Iran had to be in cash, which Republicans repeatedly referred to as "the currency of terrorism". Testimony given at Thursday's hearing suggested that, if cash was the only possible means of transfer, those past transactions may also have been performed in cash.

Regarding the August 24 Los Angeles Times editorial on The Bee's Opinion page: Payment to Iran wasn't ransom or coincidence.

The administration had claimed the payment and the prisoner release were separate, but recently acknowledged the cash was used as leverage until the Americans were allowed to leave Iran.

Republicans have denounced the initial $400 million transfer in January as a "ransom" payment to Iran, since it coincided with the release of four American prisoners the same day.

Republicans have accused the White House of paying this money as a ransom for the American prisoners.

"This committee requested records ... more than a month ago and to date the self-proclaimed most transparent administration in our history has failed to provide any, not one document to this committee", said Rep. Sean Duffy (R., Wis.), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, during the hearing.

Christopher Backemeyer, State Department assistant secretary for Iranian affairs, said the settlement happened as the USA aimed to wrap up several diplomatic efforts with Iran, including the Iran nuclear deal and the prisoner swap.

Kirk explained in the radio interview that he wanted to make sure a price wasn't put on Americans heads for kidnappers when traveling overseas.

"Iran may have received as much as $33.6 billion in cash or in gold and other precious metals", Dubowitz told Congress. "The irony is the State Department, shortly after the payment was made, issued a worldwide travel alert to Americans saying, 'you know there are a lot of people out there looking to kidnap an American in return for a ransom payment'". Instead, the administration calls it 'diplomacy'.

The previous government of Iran, under the leadership of Mohammad Reza Shah, who had good relations with the United States and the West, gave $400 million to the United States for the purchase of fighter jets.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May after their bilateral meeting in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016, alongside the G20.

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