The White House and State Department spent most of the last 24 hours trying to convince America that the $400,000,000 payment secretly shipped to Iran the exact same day Iran released American hostages not a ransom payment. Following up on their original story, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Department of Justice objected to both Obama concessions involved in the deal.
The two Obama concessions last January to at the same time as the hostage release, were the $400 million which was supposedly the first part of a $1.7-billion-dollar settlement Obama reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 fall of the Shah, and freeing or stopping to pursue 21 Iranian operatives. Apparently the Justice Department objected to both of those.
In the end it doesn’t really matter whether or not the Obama Administration considered it a ransom payment, because Iran did. According to the Tuesday report, the payment was folded into the hostage negotiations by Iranian negotiators and granted so the Iranians could “show they had gained something tangible” Justice Department officials objected to the payment exactly because – even if it wasn’t actually a ransom – it would be perceived that way and could incentivize more Iranian hostage taking. And it did. Since the January deal the Iranians have subsequently seized at least two more Americans and foreign nationals from Britain, France, and Canada.
According to the WSJ follow up report…