As part of the Obama administration’s nuclear weapons deal with Iran, the US paid a $400 million ransom for four Americans who were being held by Iran on trumped up charges. Naturally, the administration denies the ransom aspect. It also denies that the ransom was part of the weapons deal, insisting that the all-cash payment, in euros, Swiss francs, and other unnamed currencies (because doing this in $US would be a violation of Federal law—a felony) and flown to Tehran in a cargo plane from which all national markings had been removed was part of a separate arms deal settlement. That the three things—the nuclear weapons deal, the cash payment, and the Americans’ release all happened together was just a coincidence. Nothing to see here, move along.
There’s a reason the US—until this administration—doesn’t pay ransom: it puts targets on every American travelling overseas, especially in the present case those who are visiting family in Iran. Some in government recognize this. Senator Mark Kirk (R, IL):
Paying ransom to kidnappers puts Americans even more at risk. While Americans were relieved by Iran’s overdue release of illegally imprisoned American hostages, the White House’s policy of appeasement has led Iran to illegally seize more American hostages.
That ransom was paid last January. Since then, two other Americans who were not ransomed remain in Iranian prisons, and three more Americans have been “detained” by the Iranian government while visiting Iran. Worse, Obama’s ransom payment appears to have endangered citizens of our friends and allies, too: four British, Canadian, and French citizens have been “detained” by the Iranians since Obama paid up.
Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said loudly and clearly, she intends not only to continue the Obama administration’s policies, she intends to take them even further.
Elections have consequences.