Remember the $1.7 billion that the Obama administration paid to Iran in 2016 after the release of five Americans held by Iran? According to The Washington Times, the federal government traced the funds, only to discover the money was transferred to Hezbollah, the terrorist group in Lebanon; the Quds Force, Iran’s terrorist arm, which has an extensive history of murder; and Houthi rebels hoping to topple the Saudi Arabian government.
The Times says that the intelligence used to discover the funds could well lead to President Trump canceling the Iran nuclear deal. On January 12, Trump said, “The enormous financial windfall the Iranian regime received because of the deal — access to more than $100 billion, including $1.8 billion in cash — has not been used to better the lives of the Iranian people. Instead, it has served as a slush fund for weapons, terror, and oppression, and to further line the pockets of corrupt regime leaders.”
Although the Obama administration protested that the payment was to settle a dispute from the 1990s in which Iran claimed the U.S. owed the country military equipment from a deal made before the 1979 Islamic revolution, many critics saw the payment as ransom for the American hostages.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said, “This break with long-standing U.S. policy puts a price on the heads of Americans and has led Iran to continue its illegal seizures of U.S. citizens.”