47965
John Kirby
National

US: Iran Payment Used as Prisoner Leverage

The US State Department said on Thursday it released $400 million in cash to Iran under a tribunal settlement only once it was assured that American prisoners had been freed and had boarded a plane.
"The payment of the $400 million was not done until after the prisoners were released," State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters, Reuters reported.
"We took advantage of that to make sure we had the maximum leverage possible to get our people out and get them out safely," Kirby added.
It was the first time the US administration has said publicly that it used the payment as leverage to ensure the prisoners were released by Iran.
Three of the five prisoners, including Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post's Tehran bureau chief; Saeed Abedini, a pastor from Idaho, and Amir Hekmati, a former US Marine from Flint, Michigan, as well as some family members, were part of a prisoner exchange that followed the lifting of most international sanctions against Iran following a nuclear deal in 2015.
One more prisoner, Nosratollah Khosravi-Roudsari, chose to remain in Iran, while a fifth prisoner, American student Matthew Trevithick, was released separately.
Both US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have denied that the payment was ransom for the release of the prisoners or tied to the Iran nuclear deal.
The White House announced on January 17 it was releasing $400 million in funds frozen since 1981, plus $1.3 billion in interest owed to Iran, as part of a settlement of a longstanding Iranian claim at the Iran-US Claims Tribunal in The Hague, the Netherlands.
The funds were part of a trust fund Iran used before its 1979 Islamic Revolution to buy US military equipment that was tied up for decades in litigation at the tribunal.
The payment was made by the United States in cash due to international sanctions against Iran.
The US administration has maintained that negotiations over the funds and the prisoners were conducted on separate tracks and were in no way linked.
Representative Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has asked Kerry to appear at a future committee hearing to discuss the payment.

 

Short URL : http://goo.gl/l79fFq
  1. http://goo.gl/L9DGi2
  • http://goo.gl/KE66Dv
  • http://goo.gl/vQuMdU
  • http://goo.gl/Lm0fT2
  • http://goo.gl/uFNsiu

You can also read ...

Norway Minister Resigns After Breaching Security Rules During Iran Holiday
Norway’s fisheries minister resigned on Monday following his...
No War, No US Talks
Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei...
President Hassan Rouhani (L) shakes hands with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev on the sidelines of the Caspian Sea Summit in Kazakhstan on Sunday.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev condemned...
Call for Closer Parliamentary Ties With Russia
The Majlis director general for international affairs, Hossein...
Proposal to Share Defense Capabilities With Friendly Nations
Commander of the Army Ground Force voiced readiness to share...
EU Political Will to Save JCPOA Strong
A senior diplomat said Monday that Europe’s political...
Terrorist Attack on Jordan Police Condemned
The Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Monday condemning a...
Abadi’s Stance Not to Affect Bilateral Ties
The stance adopted by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on...

Trending

Googleplus