White House Comes Under Heavy Fire for $400 Million Payment to Iran


earnestIn the midst of this agonizing election season, a new report about money the U.S. gave to Iran is causing a firestorm among Republicans today.

According to The Wall Street Journal, those four Americans who were detained in Tehran were released earlier this year around the same time as the White House arranged a $400 million payment to Iran.

The payment was apparently made as part of a massive settlement between the U.S. and Iran that President Obama alluded to at the time.

And as the State Department now says, the two decisions were not linked:

“As we’ve made clear, the negotiations over the settlement of an outstanding claim…were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said. “Not only were the two negotiations separate, they were conducted by different teams on each side, including, in the case of The Hague claims, by technical experts involved in these negotiations for many years.”

Republicans, however, are absolutely furious and decrying it as a ransom payment:

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest insisted today this was not a ransom payment, saying they’re “resolving a long-standing claim” and “the United States does not have a banking relationship with Iran”:

Though as multiple people have noted, there are still Americans being held in Iran:

[image via screengrab]

— —

Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under:

Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac