Unsurprisingly, the Obama administration was quick to attribute the release of the hostages to it's deal with Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry harped on about how the incident demonstrated the need for diplomacy. By diplomacy, of course, he meant repealing sanctions against Iran in exchange for the hostages release. That lifting the sanctions was necessary to free the hostages shows the Iranians are still pursuing their own self-interest rather than reconciliation with the US.
Not everybody was buying the bogus explanation the White House was offering for it's handling of the situation. The Republican candidates pointed out that the Iranians once again only freed hostages because the administration gave in to one of it's demands, something that Obama refuses to understand.
“Republican front-runner Donald Trump said it was “a total disgrace' that the release of the Americans took so long. ‘This should have been done three, four years ago, when the [nuclear] deal was struck. Before the deal was made . . . they should have said, we want our prisoners back,' Trump said at a rally in New Hampshire.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in a television interview Saturday: ‘We’d be very happy for the families of the Americans who are going to be home and for those Americans, but I’d also want to hear what the other side of the deal is, if this president is releasing more terrorists from Guantanamo to go back and reenter the war on terror. . . . We shouldn’t have to swap prisoners. These folks were taken illegally in violation of international law and they should have been released without condition.'
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told reporters while campaigning in Iowa: ‘The fact of the matter is that this tells us everything we need to know about the Iranian regime. That they take people hostage in order to gain concessions. And the fact that they can get away with it with this administration I think has created an incentive for more governments to do this around the world.'”
Source: Washington Post