Published: Mon, August 22, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Embarrassing Spin: State Department Says $400 Million Was Just Leverage, Not Ransom

Embarrassing Spin: State Department Says $400 Million Was Just Leverage, Not Ransom

The administration continued to deny that the cash was a ransom payment, however. "I am outraged that we can not rely on our own President to tell us the truth".

Kirby said a technician couldn't recall who ordered the cut and the tape may have been edited because of a technical glitch in the recording. "We deliberately leveraged that moment". Iran asked the pressure them into leaving, but the American negotiators refused, he said.

The US State Department said on Thursday it released $400 million in cash to Iran under a tribunal settlement only once it was assured that American prisoners had been freed and had boarded a plane. "That was our top priority". And we've emboldened Iran.

During a presidential rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, GOP nominee Donald Trump blasted President Barack Obama for the new admission, stating that this would put Americans traveling overseas at risk for kidnapping, the Boston Herald reports.

"What the State Department admitted today was the dictionary definition of a ransom payment and a complete contradiction of what they were saying just two weeks ago", Short said. "We were completely open with everybody about it and it is interesting to me how suddenly this became a story again", he said, seeming to wag a finger at the press for daring to question the obvious. "Decisions like these are putting our nation and our allies at risk".

At an August 4 news conference at the Pentagon, Obama said nothing nefarious occurred.

Barack Obama's administration acknowledged for the first time Thursday that a $400 million payment to Iran was used as "leverage" in the release of several American prisoners. "The deal that's behind this, the one that was attached to it, where we've had all kinds of instances of denials and lies and pretense in selling the deal to the American people. It thanked Iran for its conduct in illegally detaining 10 American sailors in a flagrant violation of worldwide law", McCain said. The administration said back in January there was a problem getting Rezaian's wife on the plane.

USA president Barack Obama has previously denied that his administration engaged in a "cash-for-hostages" deal with the government of Iran. "The president owes the American people a full accounting of his actions and the risky precedent he has set".

The House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Republican Rep. Ed Royce of California, has announced that his committee will hold hearings on the matter. "We now know it was ransom". And we've emboldened Iran.

"We felt it would be imprudent not to consider that some leverage in trying to make sure our Americans got out", said State Department spokesman John Kirby said.

"There was truly a profound lack of trust on this very hard prisoner exchange track", a senior administration official said of the secret talks with Iran, "and even over the final 48 hours, there were repeated indications that our people may not actually ever be permitted to leave Iran".

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