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Trump tweets that Obama secretly helped Iran access US banks

President Donald Trump (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
June 07, 2018

President Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted that former President Barack Obama is accused of secretly trying to give Iran access to the U.S. financial system after the 2015 nuclear deal was penned, and that this was “totally illegal.” He also called for an investigation.

“The Obama Administration is now accused of trying to give Iran secret access to the financial system of the United States. This is totally illegal,” Trump wrote on Thursday.

“Perhaps we could get the 13 Angry Democrats to divert some of their energy to this ‘matter’ (as Comey would call it). Investigate,” he added.

It was reported this week that former President Obama and his administration granted a license to Iran that allowed it to access the U.S. banking system after the Iran nuclear deal, despite the administration’s promise to prohibit such behavior, according to a new Senate subcommittee report.

The license allowed Iran to convert its currency, rials, to euros.

The Washington Times obtained a copy of the subcommittee report, which explained how the Obama Administration and U.S. Treasury Department officials “discreetly issued a special license for the conversion to a major Omani bank and unsuccessfully pressured two U.S. banks to partake in the transaction, all while misleading lawmakers about the activities.”

“On Feb. 24, 2016, the Treasury Department issued a specific license to Bank Muscat to authorize the conversion of Iran’s rials to euros through ‘any United States depository institution … Even after the specific license was issued, U.S. government officials maintained in congressional testimony that Iran would not be granted access to the U.S. financial system,” according to the draft report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Iran reportedly had $5.7 billion in assets – in rials – at Bank Muscat in Muscat, Oman.

When Iran wanted that money, it asked the U.S. if it could use its financial system to convert it, even though sanctions prohibited it, the draft report says.

President Trump announced in May that the United States was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and imposing the “highest level” economic sanctions against Iran.

Trump has long been critical of the Obama-era agreement, calling it an “embarrassment” and “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”