You are watching: How much money did obama give iran in the middle of the night

The Obama management secretly arranged a plane delivery of $400 million in cash top top the same day Iran released 4 American prisoners and formally implemented the atom deal, united state officials confirmed Wednesday.

President Barack Obama authorized the $400 million transfer, which he had announced in January as part of the Iran nuclear deal. The money was flown right into Iran on wood pallets stacked with Swiss francs, euros and also other currencies as the first installment that a $1.7 billion settlement resolving claims at an worldwide tribunal in ~ The Hague over a fail arms deal under the moment of the Shah.

A fifth American man was exit by Iran separately.


Details of the cash distribution drew fresh condemnation the the Iran transaction from Republicans. Lock charged the the management had empowered a major sponsor the terrorism since the nuclear agreement enables Tehran come re-enter the international economy and also gives it access long-frozen funds.

In addition, they stated the cash distribution amounted to a ransom payment the violates long-standing US exercise not to pay for hostages. As such, they argued, it encourages Iran to organize onto its remaining Americans detainees until they deserve to get much more money because that them.

“Paying ransom to kidnappers puts american even much more at risk,” said Illinois Republican Sen. Note Kirk. “While Americans to be relieved through Iran’s overdue release of illegal imprisoned American hostages, the White House’s policy of appeasement has led Iran to illegally seize much more American hostages, including Siamak Namazi, his dad Baquer Namazi and also Reza Shahini.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald trumped jumped ~ above the issue, seek to adjust the topic after a punishing week of gaffes and reproaches from members of the GOP.

“Iran was in huge trouble, they had sanctions, they to be dying, we took off the sanctions and made this dreadful deal and now lock a power,” Trump claimed Wednesday in Daytona, Florida.

“We paid $400 million because that the hostages,” trump card said. “Such a bad criterion was collection by Obama. We have two an ext hostages there right? What’s are we going come pay because that them? What we’re law is insane.”

autonomous nominee Hillary Clinton, when asked around the payment by a regional Denver, Colorado, tv station, claimed it to be “old news.”

“It was very first reported about seven or eight months ago, as I recall,” she said Denver’s 9News. “And, so far as ns know, it had actually nothing to execute with any kind of kind of hostage swap or any other tit-for-tat. It to be something that was to plan to, as I am told, pay back Iran for contracts that were canceled when the shaman fell.”

united state officials claimed cash had actually to be flown in due to the fact that existing US sanctions ban American dollars native being used in a transaction through Iran and because Iran can not access the global financial system as result of international penalty it was under at the time. The details the the just how the transaction emerged were an initial reported by The wall Street Journal. reported in January the the carry of funds had actually been arrangement.

The money was procured from central banks in Switzerland and the Netherlands, main said, and also an there was no sign cargo aircraft loaded through Swiss francs, euros and other currencies were flown come Iran.

“They were entirely cut off from global banks and also there was no other method to gain them the money,” one senior official with expertise of the transaction said.

if the cash transaction took location the very same day as the relax of Washington article reporter Jason Rezaian and also the other Americans, management officials urge the payment did no constitute ransom and that over there were to be no quid agree quo for the payment. They said the agreement on the release of the prisoners dovetailed with the resolution the parallel negotiations end the problem of the failed arms deal.

“It’s versus the policy of the United states to salary ransom for hostages,” White home spokesman mockery Earnest said Wednesday.

He defined the payment together a “conscious strategic decision that to be made ~ above the component of the Obama management as us were implementing the transaction to avoid Iran native obtaining a nuclear weapon come resolve other longstanding involves we had actually with Iran.”

“That had securing the relax of five American citizen who had actually been unjustly detained in Iran, and also closing the end a ancient financial dispute in a means that conserved the American world potentially billions of dollars,” the said.

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In return because that the us citizens’ release, the united state dropped extradition requests because that 14 Iranian citizens and also freed seven. Previous FBI agent Robert Levinson, that disappeared in Iran in 2007, continues to be missing.

Earnest cast those using the new details about the palettes the cash as human being “flailing to justification their continued opposition to the transaction to prevent Iran from obtaining a atom weapon.”

The $400 million to be Iran’s to begin with, inserted into a US-based trust fund to support American military equipment purchases in the 1970s. When the shah was ousted by a 1979 well-known uprising that caused the creation of the Islamic Republic, the us froze the trust fund. Iran has been fighting because that a return that the funds through international courts since 1981.

In announcing the agreement, Obama said that paying the $400 million – plus $1.3 billion in attention – was saving American taxpayers billions the dollars. The Iranians had actually been seeking more than $10 exchange rate at arbitration.

“For the joined States, this settlement conserved us billions of dollars that might have been gone after by Iran,” Obama said in January. “There to be no advantage to the United says in dragging this out.”

together it was making the January cash delivery, the US additionally imposed brand-new sanctions top top Iran end its ballistic missile testing. At the same time, the White home unfroze a bigger pool of Iranian assets, approximated at $100 to $150 billion, as part of the nuclear deal, though management officials cautioned the Iran would just pocket about $50 billion after legitimate claims.

Legal cases are among the factors the payment to Iran was controversial when Obama an initial announced it. The Clinton administration had i agree in 2000 to pay that $400 million to american who had won lawsuits versus Iran in us courts.

this families and also individuals had sued the Islamic Republic for loss after the deaths of love ones or because that being the victims themselves that Iran-backed kidnappings or terror attacks. At the time, us officials called those families the money would come from Iran.

with Obama’s announcement, the became obvious that the payments had actually come from united state taxpayers and also not native Iran in ~ all.

Stuart Eizenstat, the Clinton administration’s deputy Treasury secretary, told Newsweek that Iran had actually filed a claim with The Hague, limiting the administration’s ability to lay claim to the fund.

movie critics on Wednesday were more incensed by Iranian claims that the cash amounted to a ransom payment for the four prisoners.

“That type of ransom payment as component of the Iran transaction is one outrage,” claimed Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

united state officials conceded the the Iranian negotiators connected in the sinner exchange said they wanted the cash to coincide with the release of the americans to prove a deliverable because that the exchange even as they argued versus the characterization that it as a ransom payment.

“As we’ve make clear, the negotiations over the settlement of superb claim in ~ The Hague Tribunal were completely separate indigenous the discussions around returning our American citizen home,” State department Spokesman man Kirby said, referring to the $1.7 exchange rate payout that the $400 cast installment was part of.

“Not only were (the) two negotiations separate, castle were carried out by various teams on each side, including, in the instance of the Hague claims, by technological experts involved in this negotiations for many years,” he said. “The funds the were moved to Iran to be related solely to the settlement of a long-standing claim at the US-Iran cases Tribunal in ~ The Hague.”

“It’s not surprising the Iran would desire to contact this a ransom for domestic political reasons,” another an elderly US official said. “But that is not the case. The confidence developed during the Iran atom negotiations helped the negotiations in other areas, so the is true all these points came together at the very same time as implementation job of the Iran deal. But this was not a ransom.”