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Tipsheet

Oversight Committee: $400 Million Iran Payment a Coincidence? Prove It Under Oath, John Kerry

The House Oversight Committee has taken note of the "coincidental" $400 million cash payment made to the Iranian regime on the same day as U.S. hostages were released in January. It's members want to know more. 

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Secretary of State John Kerry has been asked to appear before the Committee to testify about the payment, hostage negotiation policy with the Iranians and to expand on details of other payments agreements buried in the Iran nuclear deal. The White House and State Department vehemently deny the cash was a ransom payment, with spokesman from each repeatedly stating doing so would be against United States policy. 

"The Administration asserted the timing of the cash payment and the hostage release are coincidental, and are not the result of any quid pro quo.[10]  The Islamic Republic of Iran still holds American prisoners, and, according to The Wall Street Journal, 'Iranian officials have demanded in recent weeks the U.S. return $2 billion in Iranian funds that were frozen in New York in 2009,'" a letter sent to Kerry Wednesday from Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz states. "The Committee is seeking information about the terms and conditions of the Administration’s agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, among other things related to the Iran nuclear deal.  We look forward to your appearance before the Committee to answer questions at a future hearing."

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In addition to being asked to testify, Kerry has been tasked with providing the following information by August 17:

1. All records referring or relating to payments to the Islamic Republic of Iran, including, but not limited to, payment dates, sums, type of currency used, method of delivery, and place of delivery;
2. All documents or communications referring or relating to efforts to ensure that any money delivered to the Islamic Republic of Iran would not be used to fund the Assad regime in Syria, Hezbollah, or any terrorist organization;
3. All documents and communications referring or relating to any formula whereby the Islamic Republic of Iran will release American hostages in exchange for Iranian nationals held in U.S. jails;
4. All documents and communications referring or relating to negotiations for the January 2016 release of American hostages by the Islamic Republic of Iran;
5. All documents and communications referring or relating to negotiations for the January  2016 settlement of outstanding Iranian claims against the United States;
6. All documents and communications referring or relating to any pending payments from the United States to the Islamic Republic of Iran for the release of American hostages currently being detained, including, but not limited to, REDACTED, REDACTED, REDACTED, or REDACTED;
7. A list of all individuals who participated in preparations for, or represented the United States or the Islamic Republic of Iran in negotiations for the January 2016 release of American hostages by the Islamic Republic of Iran; and
8. A list of all individuals who participated in preparations for, or represented the United States or the Islamic Republic of Iran in negotiations for the January 2016 settlement of outstanding Iranian claims against the United States.
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