Sorry, President Obama—the $400 million cash payment you gave to Iran isn’t going away, despite your amazing rhetorical skills that are known to have solved all of the world’s problems (I’m kidding of course). Last week, the president answered questions about he payments, where he said it wasn’t a secret, it was due to a past claim on access to those assets made by Iran that spans decades, and it won’t be used for terrorism. Oh wait–that was one part of the question he didn’t answer (or avoided). That’s a touchy subject.
I mean, when it comes to Iran, money, and funding terrorism, Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest have all said that it was a possibility. After all Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism. But hey, we got a dialogue going with this country, which the president seems to think is a step in the right direction. Iran still funds Hezbollah and supports President Assad in Syria.
But let’s get back to what Sens. David Perdue (R-GA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) have to say about this. They sent a letter to Kerry asking him to provide further details about this arrangement. You can read the letter here. And yes, they want the Obama administration to give assurances that this money won’t be used to fund terrorism. These questions were posited in Sen. Perdue’s press release:
- What account was used to provide this currency to Iran?
- How was the foreign currency shipment facilitated?
- Where did the flight of the cargo plane used for the payment originate from?
- Where was the currency exchanged from U.S. dollars?
- Why did the Administration not disclose information about this payment to Congress?
- Were any sanctions or U.S. law violated by this currency transfer?
- Upon making this payment, did you have any monitoring systems in place for the end-use of this cash?
- Did you receive any assurances from the Iranians that this payment would not be used to fund terrorism, the Assad regime in Syria, or other Iranian efforts to further sow instability in the region?
- Can you assure us that U.S. taxpayer dollars—specifically the hard currency provided in the January 2016 shipment—have not been used to fund terrorism?
- Why would the Administration pay Iran $1.7 billion, when Iran owes its American victims so much more?
- What efforts is the Administration making to ensure that these American victims and their families receive damages that Iran owes them?
- Was this settlement agreement in any way linked to the release of these American hostages?
- Would Iran have released these American hostages had this currency transfer not taken place?
I’m sure the administration is going to say all is well…with terrorist-backing Iran.