Congress members went into a private briefing Tuesday expecting to learn more about the $400 million payment to Iran, and learned instead that it was actually four times the amount originally reported.
According to Circa, State, Defense and Treasury Departments delivered the stunning news to the House National Security Committee and other House leaders, admitting that a whopping $1.7 billion in cash was transferred to Iran through Swiss banks on January 17, 19 and 22.
The news from the briefing was relayed by a source who spoke to Circa on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to speak with reporters.
According to the source, the officials who gave the briefings said Iran requested cash because “they were desperate for foreign currency after years of Western sanctions.”
“They said the payments needed to be viewed in the political context. First the Iranian nuclear deal was going through, second the Iranian economy was in a difficult state and third the Iranians were in need of foreign currency,” one source said. When pressed to say who requested the cash, the briefers could not remember, the source said.
The cash transfers conveniently coincided with the release of four American prisoners from Iran. Originally the Obama administration denied it was a ransom payment for the hostages, but later admitted that the payments were “timed as leverage” to free the hostages.
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