US Paid Iran $1.3 Billion, Just Days After Hostage Release
August 25, 2016
The White House says that the U.S. paid $1.3 billion in interest it had owed to Iran, as part of a settlement of a long-standing Iranian claim at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in The Hague.
- The payment was interest that had accrued over decades on $400 million in Iranian funds frozen by the U.S. in 1981.
- State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau says the U.S. couldn’t say more about the Jan. 19 payments because of diplomatic sensitivities.
- They involved 13 separate payments of $99,999,999.99 and final payment of about $10 million.
- There was no explanation for the Treasury Department keeping the individual transactions under $100 million.
- The $400 million was part of a trust fund Iran used before its 1979 Islamic Revolution to buy U.S. military equipment that was tied up for decades in litigation at the tribunal.
- The U.S. State Department had said last week that it released $400 million in cash to Iran under a tribunal settlement only once it was assured that four Americans held prisoner by Iran had been freed and had boarded a plane.
WHITE HOUSE SPINS PAYMENT AWAY FROM HOSTAGE RELEASE
“The $1.3 billion payment has been made. It was made through a transaction involving central banks but obviously not the U.S. central bank because there are extensive restrictions on the financial relationship between the United States and Iran,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters during a daily briefing.
It was the first time the administration had said publicly that it used the payment as leverage to ensure the prisoners were released by Iran.
Both U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have denied that the payment was ransom for the release of the prisoners or tied to the Iran nuclear deal.
“We had to work with partners and out of respect for those partners we’re not going to disclose which partner it was. But this is the kind of central bank transaction that is, while probably not routine, not particularly uncommon,” Earnest said.
Article by Doc Burkhart, Vice-President, General Manager and co-host of TRUNEWS with Rick Wiles.
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