Aug 3, 2016

$400 Million in an Unmarked Cargo Plane

The Obama Administration sent cash in foreign currency to Iran—after all, sending American dollars is illegal. Iran sent American hostages back on the same day it received the cash. Sounds a lot like a ransom payment to me.

America has had a longstanding policy to not reward terrorists and kidnappers with cash. Bad behavior should be punished, not subsidized. But President Obama and his Iranian negotiating team threw that out the window when they stacked $400 million of euros and Swiss francs onto wooden pallets, stuck those wooden pallets in an unmarked cargo plan, and flew those stacks of cash off to Iran.

Administration officials said it was “coincidental” that Iran released hostages on the same day. Iranian officials described the money as a ransom. Something is terribly wrong when it’s easier to trust Iranian officials than the President’s Administration.

Like many kidnappers who get paid off, this was only the beginning. Even after the cash shipment in January of this year, Iran has arrested two more Iranian-Americans and others from France, Canada, and the UK. If anything, Iranian behavior has gotten worse since the nuclear deal was signed and foreign money started to flow in.

On top of all this, the Administration hid this cash payment from the American people and was not at all transparent with Congress. The Administration is hiding because it knows this is wrong.

It’s not news to the American people, and I surely hope it’s not news to the President, but Iran remains the largest state sponsor of terrorism. Paying Iran behind our backs, incentivizing further kidnappings of Americans while providing funds for terrorism, is as ignorant as it is wrong.