Two weeks ago, President Obama insisted the payment of $400 million to Iran was not a “ransom.”
“We do not pay ransom. We didn’t here, and we won’t in the future,” Obama told reporters Aug. 4, speaking of the Jan. 17 payment and hostage release. Turns out though, the President had lie.
The State Department admitted Thursday the US would not hand over $400 million in cash to Iran until it released four key American hostages. State Department spokesman John Kirby was asked at Thursday’s press briefing: “In basic English, you’re saying you wouldn’t give them $400 million in cash until the prisoners were released, correct?” Kirby replied: “That’s correct.”
Kirby then officially confirmed to the Wall Street Journal the plane with the $400 million and the one with the four Americans in Iran were linked.
The Obama administration initially claimed the money — delivered in suspiciously in cash stacked aboard an unmarked cargo plane — was part of a settlement of a longstanding dispute with the Iranian regime over a faulty arms deal from the 1970s. In fact, Obama scathed at reporters earlier this summer at the notion that the money was ransom:
“Families know we have a policy that we don’t pay ransom. And the notion that we would somehow start now, in this high-profile way, and announce it to the world, even as we’re looking in the faces of other hostage families whose loved ones are being held hostage, and saying to them ‘We don’t pay ransom,’ defies logic… It’s been interesting to watch this story surface. Some of you may recall, we announced these payments in January. Many months ago. There wasn’t a secret. We announced them to all of you. [Press secretary Josh Earnest] did a briefing on them. This wasn’t some nefarious deal. It wasn’t a secret. We were completely open with everybody about it and it is interesting to me how suddenly this became a story again.”
To see more stories like this, sign up below for Dennis Michael Lynch’s email newsletter.
Sign up to get breaking news alerts from Dennis Michael Lynch.