Looks like a “ransom payment”? My dog and cats know that this was a ransom payment.
The White House has dismissed claims that it paid Iran a “ransom” in exchange for the release of four hostages in January, but one terror finance expert says the sketchy transfer has the hallmarks of a ransom.
“The timing of this, despite administration protests to the contrary, suggests that this was a ransom payment,” Jonathan Schanzer, an expert on terrorism finance and the vice president of research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “And even if this was not what the administration intended, it certainly looks that way to the Iranians.”
Administration officials said that the $400 million payment was part of a separate deal involving a long-standing legal battle over Iranian money deposited in a Pentagon trust fund shortly before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The U.S. has agreed to pay the Islamic Republic a total of $1.7 billion to settle the dispute.
“We would not, we have not, we will not, pay a ransom to secure the release of U.S. citizens. That’s a fact,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest in a statement Wednesday. “That is our policy and it is one that we have assiduously followed.”