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Did U.S. Pay Iran Ransom?

Rebeccah L. Heinrichs

The Obama administration, after vociferously denying that it paid ransom to Iran for the release of four American prisoners, now concedes that the $400-million cash payment was delayed until the hostages were on their way home. Nevertheless, former State Department official David Tafuri insisted that this was absolutely not ransom. “The State Department admitted that this was ‘leverage,’” Tafuri said, “and that is what it was. These transactions are related and linked, but this was not a ransom payment. We had an obligation to make this payment, we just used it as leverage to make sure we got the prisoners back.” But national security analyst Rebeccah Heinrichs mocked that contention. “The bottom line is that we would not have gotten our hostages back if we had not given them the $400-million. The Iranian government will take the money that was forked over to them and use it to fund Assad, who is murdering men, women, and children in Syria, and they’ll use it to fund Hezbollah. This was highly irresponsible and we all know this was ransom!”

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