On January 17, 2016, a cargo plane with $400 million in foreign currencies was secretly sent to Iran.
This was the same day the Iranian regime released four American hostages held in Tehran.
L to R: Matt Trevithick (Photo Credit Robin Wright) Amir Hekmati, Jason Rezaian (Photo Credit AP), Saeed Abedini (News 4).
Barack Obama told reporters last week this was not a ransom.
Former US Iranian Hostage Saeed Abidini told FOX Business Network today the Iranian regime WOULD NOT let his plane leave Tehran until the ransom plane arrived.
US officials held the ransom cash until the hostages were released.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
New details of the $400 million U.S. payment to Iran earlier this year depict a tightly scripted exchange specifically timed to the release of several American prisoners held in Iran, based on accounts from U.S. officials and others briefed on the operation.
U.S. officials wouldn’t let Iranians take control of the money until a Swiss Air Force plane carrying three freed Americans departed from Tehran on Jan. 17, the officials said. Once that happened, an Iranian cargo plane was allowed to bring the cash back from a Geneva airport that day, according to the accounts.
President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials have said the payment didn’t amount to ransom, because the money was owed by the U.S. to Iran as part of a longstanding dispute linked to a failed arms deal from the 1970s. U.S. officials have said that the prisoner release and cash transfer took place through two separate diplomatic channels.
But the handling of the payment and its connection to the release of the Americans have raised questions among lawmakers and administration critics.
Iran released photos and video of Obama’s ransom payment.