Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department and the Treasury Department pertaining to all records relating to the Obama Administration sending Iran $400 million dollars back in January 2016. The lawsuit, which was filed last month has brought renewed debate as to why the Obama Administration gave Iran the $400 million dollars despite the country being the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, and their repeated claims desiring the destruction of Israel and the United States. Judicial Watch filed suit after the State Department and the Treasury Department failed to respond to an August 2016 Freedom of Information Act requesting records pertaining to the transfer of this $400 million dollars to Iran.
This large transfer of funds was widely criticized by the Israeli government, Republicans in Washington D.C., and victims of terror financed by Iran. Adding more suspicion to this large cash transfer to Iran was the simultaneous release of five hostages who were being held in an Iranian jail giving the appearance that the $400-million-dollar payment was a ransom.
The $400 million dollars paid to Iran stems from an arms deal gone bad back in 1979, when Iran’s Revolutionary Government overthrew the Shah of Iran. At the time Iran’s new government held 52 American hostages from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and in response the American government froze $12 billion dollars in Iranian assets held offshore. When the hostage crisis came to a close in 1981, the U.S. government paid Iran $3 billion dollars and a tribunal was set up between the United States and Iran to hash out further financial disputes. The $400 million comes into play because prior to the Shah of Iran being overthrown, he had paid the United States $400 million dollars as an advanced payment for military hardware. Because of the hostage situation and the U.S. government cutting diplomatic ties with Iran, the $400 million dollars was among the frozen assets, and the Pentagon at the time banned any further delivery of military hardware to Iran. Skip forward to 2016, this was still an issue between the two governments, and the fact that Iran was holding five American hostages, combined with an American President who placates to terrorists, Iran received the $400 million dollars back.
The Obama Administration and the deals defenders have argued the $400 million dollars was not a ransom payment but, someone should have told that to the Iranians, who were touting the deal as a ransom payment. More disturbing about this deal is the fact that the Obama Administration was not readily forthcoming with information about the transfer of funds to Iran, and from all appearances this large cash transfer was a ransom.
Many Americans felt that President Obama committed treason which falls under 18 U.S. Code Chapter 115 – Treason, Sedition, and Subversive Activities. The language in U.S. Code 2381 defines treason as the following, “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States”. Because the $400 million dollars was established as a long-standing financial dispute between the United States and Iran, this was used as a cover, and likely a bargaining chip so that Iran could finally get their money, and President Obama could be seen as some sort of savior. Those who claim that this deal had nothing to with the released hostages must be living in an alternate reality. The Iranian government saw an opportunity and took advantage of a weak American President who was more concerned with his image than the effect of giving a country like Iran $400 million dollars. This terrorist appeasement also sets a dangerous precedent that the United States will negotiate with terrorists and their sponsors. President Donald Trump however has been very clear on his disapproval of this deal and has vowed not to tolerate any more nonsense from Iran.
The lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch should reveal some very interesting facts such as the details of the transfer, why the transfer was not readily disclosed, and whether the transfer had anything at all to do with the hostage negotiations taking plaat the same time.