The Obama/Clinton followed by the Obama/Kerry foreign policy legacy will come to be seen as a low point in US history. It has been a foreign policy dominated by their own fears and devoid of courage. Paralysis by analysis.
The much publicised US policy of not paying ransom for the release of US prisoners in foreign countries is not quite all what it seems. It would seem that secretly paid ransoms are OK.
The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.
Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland, they said.
The money represented the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 fall of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
The settlement, which resolved claims before an international tribunal in The Hague, also coincided with the formal implementation that same weekend of the landmark nuclear agreement reached between Tehran, the U.S. and other global powers the summer before.
“With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well,” President Barack Obama said at the White House on Jan. 17 — without disclosing the $400 million cash payment.
Senior U.S. officials denied any link between the payment and the prisoner exchange. They say the way the various strands came together simultaneously was coincidental, not the result of any quid pro quo. ……. But U.S. officials also acknowledge that Iranian negotiators on the prisoner exchange said they wanted the cash to show they had gained something tangible.
Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas and a fierce foe of the Iran nuclear deal, accused President Barack Obama of paying “a $1.7 billion ransom to the ayatollahs for U.S. hostages.”
“This break with longstanding U.S. policy [not to] put a price on the head of Americans, and has led Iran to continue its illegal seizures” of Americans, he said.
Since the cash shipment, the intelligence arm of the Revolutionary Guard has arrested two more Iranian-Americans. Tehran has also detained dual-nationals from France, Canada and the U.K. in recent months.
To claim that it was coincidence is a little ingenuous and there seems little doubt it was a ransom:
IndependentSentinel: January 22, 2016
Obama Paid Out A Ransom to Iran
The U.S. Treasury Department wired the money to Iran around the same time its theocratic government allowed three American prisoners to fly out of Tehran on Sunday aboard a Dassault Falcon jet owned by the Swiss air force. The prisoner swap also involved freedom for two other Americans held in Iran as well as for seven Iranians charged or convicted by the U.S. and another 21 under investigation.
“Based on an approval of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and the overall interests of the Islamic Republic, four Iranian prisoners with dual-nationality were freed today within the framework of a prisoner swap deal,” the office of the Tehran prosecutor said.
Brigadier General Hassan Naqdi, the head of the Iranian regime’s notorious Basij militia, claimed on Wednesday that Iran had received $1.7 billion from the U.S. in exchange for the release of imprisoned Americans.