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National Security Desk / Aug. 3, 2016

Obama Gives Lunch Money to Bully

Iran got a $400 million ransom for the release of American hostages.

Some outrageous news broke Tuesday night regarding Iran’s release of four American hostages back in January of this year. Barack Obama agreed to pay $400 million in cash to Iran as part of a $1.7 billion settlement over disputed funds from a failed arms deal dating back to 1979, right before the Iranian revolution. As this news came to light, the State Department responded that the payment and the negotiation for release of the Americans “were completely separate” deals. However, U.S. officials also acknowledged that the Iranians working the prisoner exchange wanted the money in order to establish something “tangible.” In other words, the administration insisted it wasn’t a ransom payment, but Iran viewed it as exactly that.

Andrew McCarthy explains exactly what went down: “The cash payment, which was hidden from Congress, arrived in Iran the same day the American prisoners were released. … Obama has long taken the view that the federal law making it a felony to provide material support to terrorism does not apply to the enormous aid and comfort he has provided to our Iranian enemy, the world’s leading state sponsor of anti-American jihadist terror. He evidently had qualms, however, about laws denying Iran access to the U.S. financial system, which bar transactions with Iran in U.S. dollars. To skirt these, the State Department recruited the Swiss and Dutch governments into Obama’s conspiracy. The equivalent of 400 million in U.S. dollars was transferred to their central banks in exchange for hard currency. The piles of euros and francs were then boxed up and flown to Tehran.”

Upon hearing the news, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) noted that Obama’s ransom payment is a “break with longstanding U.S. policy,” warning that it puts “a price on the head of Americans, and has led Iran to continue its illegal seizures [of Americans].”

Obama touted the Iran nuclear deal to the American people and the world saying he was preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, at the same time declaring that the sanctions which had been in place since the Islamic revolution were somehow not preventative enough. All through the negotiation process word spread as to how much money Iran would stand to gain from the lifting of the sanctions. Now Americans learn that Obama negotiated via paying a ransom to free Americans, which only proves to validate the Iranians’ means of blackmail, and will only encourage the behavior. Giving the bully your lunch money doesn’t stop the bully from demanding it again.

On top of this there is news out of Iran that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final word in Iran’s national security as well as other government deals, has accused the U.S. of failing to honor its pledges — negotiations, he says, were “futile.” Although he has not publicly rejected the deal, it is clear that Khamenei is setting up justification for violating it whenever he sees fit. Obama famously said his foreign policy amounted to, “Don’t do stupid s—!” Here’s wishing he would have taken his own advice, because this was more like a massive cash laundering deal with the Colombian cocaine cartel.

(Updated.)

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