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Iran Received Ransom In Untraceable Cash And Now The Obama Administration Must Answer Why

September 23, 2016

The Daily Caller News Foundation received a courtesy copy of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and cover letter by a non-profit oversight group, Cause of Action Institute (CoA), based in Washington D.C. and in it, the group has specifically requested the Department of the Treasury explain why the $1.7 billion ransom sent to Iran was in untraceable cash.  

The FOIA request demands that the Treasury Department release all the documents pertaining to the Iran ransom cash exchange with the hopes that they will discover why the Obama administration chose to send untraceable cash to the world’s leader of state sponsored terrorism when other viable means were readily available.

In the cover letter accompanying the FOIA request, Jessica Conrad of CoA wrote:

“This discrepancy raises questions about the nature of the payments and why — if they were made pursuant to a settlement agreement and therefore could have been wired — the Obama Administration agreed to pay the Iranians in untraceable cash.”

Even though the Obama administration admitted the payment was used as “leverage” to free U.S. Navy sailors captured by Iran, they continued to deny it was ransom and stated it was part of a settlement owed to Iran prior to the overthrowing of the Shah in 1979.

President Obama was adamant that the payment had to be made in cash because of the strict sanctions placed upon Iran which would have prevented a traceable payment.  Ms. Conrad noted that to the contrary, the Treasury Department’s congressional testimony stipulated that the U.S. has “broad leeway to engage in transactions necessary to settle claims before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal” — a direct contradiction of President Obama’s assertion.  

President Obama may think this wasn’t a ransom payment, but senior Iranian leadership had a much different viewpoint on it.  Iranian Brigadier General Reza Naqdi said,

“This money was returned for the freedom of the U.S. spy [Jason Rezaian, Washington Post reporter] and it was not related to the [nuclear] sanctions.”