BREAKING: Reports Show Obama, White House Sent Iran $400 Million Cash As U.S. Prisoners Freed
By CBS NEWS // August 3, 2016
Obama Claims Timing Was Coincidental
ABOVE VIDEO: When Iran released four American prisoners in January, including journalist Jason Rezaian and former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, it was heralded as a diplomatic breakthrough, CBS News’ Margaret Brennan reports.
(CBS NEWS) – When Iran released four American prisoners in January, including journalist Jason Rezaian and former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, it was heralded as a diplomatic breakthrough, CBS News’ Margaret Brennan reports.
“The plight of these individuals is they have done it and we have paid a price. We paid a price in a major way to bring them home,” said Representative Robert Pittenger upon their release. He was a member of a coalition of congressman that met three of the freed Americans at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
The Obama administration strongly denied paying any ransom to Iran, Brennan says, but according to details first reported by the Wall Street Journal, currency worth $400 million was flown into Tehran on a cargo plane around the same time that the Americans were released.
The plane was loaded with cash: Euros, Swiss Francs and other currencies, since any transaction with Iran in dollars is illegal under United States law.
Senior U.S. officials, Brennan reports, claimed the timing was coincidental: President Obama had planned to pay Tehran nearly 2 billion dollars to settle an outstanding legal dispute from the 1979 Islamic Revolution.