Article contributed by: Michael Scott Hollash
Three more American citizens are being detained and held hostage by Iran.
Frontpage reports that, “Iran is quietly arresting American citizens and taking them as hostages in order to utilize them as pawns for extracting economic concessions or receiving political and financial gains.”
News broke recently on the Obama administration secretly organizing an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four American hostages 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 the officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland, the officials stated. It was only when the cash plane arrived and was secure in Iran, that the American hostages were released.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said that the release was on an entirely separate track from the settlement payment. He stated in an interview with FOX News, “Any suggestion that this payment is tied to ransom is utterly false. We don’t pay ransom… this was not ransom.”
It is against the United States government’s policy to pay for hostages to get released from captivity. This law exists for a reason. Experts state, it provides incentive to hostage-takers, which could create more people at risk of being taken hostage.
It has been reported, that there are now 3 more Americans that have been detained by Iran.
Iranian authorities this week confirmed the arrest of Robin Reza Shahini, an Iranian-American from San Diego, CA, visiting his ailing mother over there. Also, a father and son pair of Iranian-Americans have been imprisoned in Iran since after the cash deal, with little news of their detention leaking out. This is just the Americans being reported.
Now, Iran is back at the negotiating table demanding $2 billion in frozen funds be handed over.
Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad published a public letter to President Obama on Monday, calling for the United States to release $2 billion in Iranian foreign currency reserves that were seized from bank accounts earlier this year.
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