In an August 4th press conference, President Obama insisted that the United States does not pay ransom when talking about the $400 million cash that he gave to Iran, “We do not pay ransom. We didn’t here, and we won’t in the future.”
Obama even reprimanded the press for raising the issue.
“It’s been interesting to watch this story surface. Some of you may recall, we announced these payments in January. Many months ago. There wasn’t a secret. We announced them to all of you. [Press secretary Josh Earnest] did a briefing on them. This wasn’t some nefarious deal,” Obama said. “It wasn’t a secret. We were completely open with everybody about it and it is interesting to me how suddenly this became a story again.”
On Thursday, State Department spokesman John Kirby was asked, “In basic English, you’re saying you wouldn’t give them $400 million in cash until the prisoners were released, correct?”
“That’s correct,” Kirby said.
So, Obama lied, it was ransom.
The Wall Street Journal broke the story, detailing what transpired in January while most Americans were focused on the release of the prisoners.
“The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward,” the story read.
“Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland,” wrote reporters Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee.
“The money represented the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 fall of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi,” they wrote.