White House to Come Clean on $1.7 Billion Ransom to Iran?

Early in January of this year, the White House paid Iran $1.7 billion right at the time they had taken a US Navy patrol boat. A new bill, filed on May 25, by Sen. John Cronyn (R-TX) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) has been labeled the “No Impunity for Iranian Aggression at Sea Act,”  and it “seeks to compel President Obama’s administration to certify whether federal funds were doled out to Iran as a “ransom payment.””

Governor Mike Huckabee said it best on Foxnews when he said that while we are all delighted the Americans are alive, we just paid Iran a ransom, Truth and Action . Then he made the point about why this is dangerous:

“This is an invitation to go and find an American, hold him hostage, come up with phony charges, hold him a few years, humiliate the United States of America and then demand something of ridiculously high value and know that as long as this administration is in power, you’re going to get it. Because they’re so anxious to make a deal with the Iranians and for what reason, I’ve never been able to understand it.”


You see, on Jan. 12, Iran seized two U.S. Navy patrol boats and 10 crew members who were described as “trespassing” in Iranian waters near a major naval base. The officers were released a day later, on Jan. 13.

But on Jan. 14, the White House mysteriously forked over $1.7 billion to Tehran. The disbursement was made under the pretense that it was simply settling a long-running claim over military equipment back pay.

White House and State Department officials denied any connection between the payout and the prisoners’ release. And the money, officials from the president’s administration claimed, came from a permanent Treasury Department fund established to cover court judgments and settlements.

Republican lawmakers pushed back. They blasted the administration for negotiating with terrorists and endangering Americans abroad by creating incentive among enemies to take hostages.

Then they asked for proof that the two incidents were not, in fact, linked.

Rep. Pompeo wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry the week the $1.7 Billion was paid out, telling him, “There’s no way the recent events occurred randomly.”  This bill will force the Obama Administration to prove that the money and the release of Naval officers are not linked.

Source: Money Morning



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