Iran hostages for money -2016

So it’s finally being reported that this past January when the US hostages were being released from Iran, that the US also had $400 million equivalent in Euros, Swiss francs, etc. (no US dollars) flown to Tehran, as the initial payment of a $1.7 billion settlement over a failed arms deal from 1979.

Pundits from the right are claiming it was payment of a ransom for the release of the hostages, which is against US policy and would have required approval from Congress.

The administration is claiming that the hostage release and the settlement were negotiated by different teams, etc. and that the simultaneous release and payment are coincidental. :wink: So did Obama not approve and was not ultimately responsible both of these plans?

Regardless of whether you believe it was just a coincidence, isn’t this supposed to be the “transparency” administration? Why wasn’t this disclosed back in January when the hostages were released?

Here’s a link.

Sounds like it should have been disclosed, whether or not it is linked to the hostage exchange. The article also explains the details of why it’s money that we actually did reasonably owe Iran.

Money that we haven’t paid for 36+ years. So apparently it has been subject to considerable debate on whether we owed it.

It is not uncommon when two parties are seeking resolution to use whatever issues that are at hand between the two parties to bring that resolution forward.

Obama to Rhouhani: You know very well we can’t pay a ransom for the hostages.
Rhouhani to Obama: Yes, but we believe you still owe us the $2 billion for the 1979 arms deal that never went through.
Obama: * Now you’re talking.*

The non-disclosure of the other deal in January, is what makes this scenario seem much more plausible.

I definitely agree that it’s plausible that these are related.

By the way, the payment isn’t a new story at all – it wasn’t hidden and was widely reported in January. The only new part of the story is that a chunk of the payment was cash.

New York Times, Jan 17 2016:

We must have different definitions of “undisclosed”.

Thanks for the clarification

$400 million becomes $2 billion. What was the interest rate? When was this interest rate agreed upon?

More details over at snopes. I think part of the reason that it has resurfaced is a right wing effort to discredit Obama and other democrats and rile up their right wing supporters.

“Helmsman, why isn’t this ship moving…?”
“Somebody took the wind out of our sails.”
“Damned Fact-Checkers…”

I think the narrower allegation is that payments of US dollars to Iran are illegal and thus would have required an act of Congress, so pallets of foreign currency were shipped over specifically to avoid triggering the need for such action.

In US Dollars, mostly. Which will eventually have to be spent buying something from the US. Thus feeding our economy.

Just like a business that instead of giving you a discounted sale price, offers store credit redeemable on your next purchase – gets you back into the store one more time, to buy more items.

Actually, the cash portion was in Euros and Swiss Francs because it’s illegal to trade US dollars directly to Iran. Iran negotiated to have this portion of the payment in cash because Iran is largely shut out of the international banking system (might be easier now with sanctions relief from the nuclear arms deal, I don’t know).

That said, it’s really just pearl-clutching over optics. $400mil bank transfer, who cares. $400mil in cash on a pallet and OMG must be ransom money. Thank God it wasn’t delivered in four hundred briefcases.

4%. $400m * 1.04[sup]37[/sup] = $1.7B

Well, the optics get even worse when the Commander of the Basij militia states to the Iranian state media:


If a foreign government holds your citizens, you give the foreign government money, the foreign government releases your citizens and at least part of the foreign government believe that the money given was to secure the release of your citizens, you’ve got a problem.

I believe that this was what Obama claims, a coincidence. However, one ought to avoid these types of coincidences.


If the administration had taken steps to ensure the two actions happened on different days, they would be condemned for manipulating events and for a cover-up.

We’re facing conspiracy theorists here: there is no right answer.

Sure, Iran has their own optics to worry about after handing off four Americans. They need to spin it as a win even if the “win” was getting money owed to them.

So now we’re calling it optics?

The President of the United states didn’t transfer money through normal banking methods that can be legitimately traced. Instead he sent a plane full of money to a terrorist state which held the hostages at the airport until the plane arrived. they then bragged about it.

It was ransom money. Obama jut gave 400 million dollars to a terrorist group that routinely calls for the destruction of the United States. The FBI is working night and day to stop the support of terrorists and this fool does everything possible to accelerate Iran’s nuclear program.

Nothing good will come of this.

It was Iran’s money to begin with.
Buying jet fighters.

Your version of reality is very scary.