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Obama Administration Finally Admits $400M To Iran Was Ransom For Hostages

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State Department spokesman John Kirby said that the $400 million cash payment sent to Iran in January was not ransom to free the four American hostages in Tehran.

August 3
John Kirby:
“[Wall Street Journal report] made a lot of allegations that this was ransom. It is not. It was not. We said that from the beginning. There was no linkage between the settlement and the freeing of these Americans. But, we saw an opportunity to resolve these three separate pieces concurrently that were being resolved at the same time.”

President Barack Obama insisted that the United States does not pay ransom for hostages.

August 4
Barack Obama:
“We do not pay ransom for hostages. We do not pay ransom. We didn’t here and we won’t in the future. Precisely because if we did, then we would start encouraging Americans to be targeted much in the same way that some countries that do pay ransom end up having a lot more of their citizens being taken by various groups.”

John Kirby admitted Thursday (8/18) that the United States would not transfer $400 million in cash to Iran until the four American hostages were released.

August 18
Reporter:
“So, getting away from the word “leverage,” which in basic English, you’re saying that you wouldn’t give them the $400 million in cash until the prisoners were released. Correct?”

John Kirby:
“That’s correct.”

Reporter:
“Thank you.”

Two weeks before, John Kirby joked about government’s transparency.

August 4
John Kirby:
“Welcome. Good to see you in this exercise in transparency and democracy.” [laughter]

Matt Lee:
“Is that what it is?”
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