The Obama Administration, desperate to help the despotic Iranian regime in any way they could, deliberately misled the American people by telling them that Iran would not have access to American banks even while behind the scenes, they granted a license giving Iran access to the United States financial system.
A report issued by the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that the Obama Administration had issued a license to an Iranian bank so it could use American banks to convert its money into American currency. The report stated, “On Feb. 24, 2016, the Treasury Department issued a specific license to Bank Muscat to authorize the conversion of Iran’s rials to euros through ‘any United States depository institution. … Even after the specific license was issued, U.S. government officials maintained in congressional testimony that Iran would not be granted access to the U.S. financial system.”
But Obama Administration officials had testified long before that Iran would not be granted access to the American financial system. As AP reports:
Shortly after the nuclear deal was sealed in July 2015, then-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testified that even with the sanctions relief, Iran “will continue to be denied access to the world’s largest financial and commercial market.” A month later, one of Lew’s top deputies, Adam Szubin, testified that despite the nuclear deal “Iran will be denied access to the world’s most important market and unable to deal in the world’s most important currency."
The license issued to Bank Muscat would have permitted Iran to convert $5.7 billion at a bank in Oman from Omani rials, which are difficult to convert, into euros by transmuting them into U.S. dollars. AP notes, “If the Omani bank had allowed the exchange without such a license, it would have violated sanctions that bar Iran from transactions that touch the U.S. financial system.”
But to their credit, American banks balked at helping Iran, despite the fact that according to AP, “The Obama administration approached two U.S. banks to facilitate the conversion.”
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), the chairman of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, stated, “The Obama administration misled the American people and Congress because they were desperate to get a deal with Iran.”
AP notes that in the spring of 2016, “ … when questioned by lawmakers about the possibility of granting Iran any kind of access to the U.S. financial system, Obama-era officials never volunteered that the specific license for Bank Muscat in Oman had been issued two months earlier.”