The Story of Obama’s Ransom Payment to Iran Gets Worse

The Story of Obama’s Ransom Payment to Iran Gets Worse, by Rich Richman.

The president was returning $400 million in Iran’s “Foreign Military Sales” (FMS) account with the Pentagon, plus $1.3 billion in interest, but he failed to mention that in 1981, when Iran filed its claim before the Claims Tribunal at The Hague, the U.S. had responded with a counterclaim for $817 million for Iran’s violations of its obligations under the FMS program. In 2016, with both the claim and the counterclaim still pending, it was possible that Iran owed billions of dollars to the U.S., not the reverse.

Nor did the president mention the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, signed by President Bill Clinton in 2000 and stipulating that Iran’s FMS account could not be refunded until court judgments held by the U.S. government against Iran for damages from terrorist acts against American citizens were resolved to America’s satisfaction. Those judgments, including interest accumulated between 2001 and 2016, totaled about $1 billion. The president did not explain how, under the 2000 law, with those judgments still outstanding, he could pay Iran anything at all.

Nor did the president mention that his “refund” to Iran was being paid in untraceable European cash, a fact discovered by reporters seven months later. He would then contend that, in light of the sanctions on banking transactions with Iran, “we had to give them cash.” But the sanction regulations expressly authorize bank payments to settle Iran’s claims at The Hague, as Michael Mukasey, the former U.S. attorney general, later testified to Congress, adding that there was “no legitimate reason why [Iran] should want cash other than to pursue terrorism.”

Who’s side is he on? He cannot be that incompetent, surely. Where is he going to be when the Ayatollahs get nuclear weapons?