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White House: $1.7B Iran payment not 'ransom'

Ethan Mercer | 1/24/2016

The prompt return of American prisoners held by Iran earlier this month has been hailed as an example of the power of successful diplomacy. What has been less talked about though, is that the return of the Americans has coincided with the Obama administration sending $1.7 billion to Iran to settle an “outstanding claim.” The white house denies that the money sent to Iran was in any way a ransom, as some GOP critics have claimed.

Instead, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest says that the $1.7 had been owed to Iran for decades. The original amount was roughly $400 million dollars, which had been sitting in an escrow account since 1979. An additional $1.3 billion was also paid as interest, bringing the amount to $1.7 billion.

Originally though, Iran had claimed between $7 and $8 billion dollars, but settled for $1.7 billion due to the Obama administration’s “tough negotiations.”

The White House claims this as a victory for the American people, helping to make them safer. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark) is less convinced though, calling the agreement a “ransom.”

To read both sides of today’s most important issues, continue to foragainst.com.  

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