A new report found that the Obama administration secretly ended sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program as part of their ransom payment for U.S. prisoners.
The Washington Free Beacon initially reported in January on the lifting of sanctions on Bank Sepah and Bank Sepah International, the chief banks involved in funding Iran’s ballistic missile program, which was done seven years before the date provided under the Iran deal as an act of “goodwill,” according to an Obama administration official.
However, the Free Beacon notes that a recent report from the Wall Street Journal revealed that state department officials admitted that the agreement to lift these sanctions “was part of a package of tightly scripted agreements” that involved Iran releasing four imprisoned Americans at the same time as the administration provided $1.7 billion to the Iranian regime, supposedly as part of a 1979 arms deal. The easing of the sanctions occurred on the same day as the release of the prisoners.
The Obama administration denied at the time that easing the sanctions on the aforementioned banks had anything to do with the release of the four American prisoners, but the Journal‘s report suggested otherwise. When the Free Beacon asked a State Department official about the admission, the unnamed official gave the outlet the following response:
“The U.S. government had already made the determination that it would remove Bank Sepah from our domestic Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List on Implementation Day, which was outlined clearly in the JCPOA [nuclear deal] itself in July 2015.”
“We made this determination after a careful review of the activity of all individuals and entities—including Bank Sepah—that would be removed from the SDN list,” the official explained. “Although we removed Bank Sepah from the U.S. SDN list, Bank Sepah will continue to be cut off from the U.S. financial system and its funds under U.S. jurisdiction will remain blocked. Furthermore, we have the ability to quickly reimpose additional U.S. sanctions if Bank Sepah or any other entity engages in activities that remain sanctionable.”
This is mealy-mouthed gobbledygook from the official in an attempt to obfuscate the fact that such a move was clearly part of the ransom payment to Iran.
“The timing tells us exactly why Obama did it,” writes Ed Morrisey at Hot Air. “He wanted this deal to burnish his foreign-policy resumé in the short run, and he was willing to cough up practically anything to get it. That includes ransom payments for Americans who should have been freed as part of the original negotiations, and a cave from even the bad deal Obama and John Kerry had already signed. That, of course, prompts this question: What else have we given up?”
As the Daily Wire has previously explained, there’s no question that the Obama administration paid ransom to the Iranian government in exchange for the prisoners and that the administration is blatantly attempting to deceive the public about it. Iran has already conducted multiple missile tests since the Iran deal became official, and make no mistake: they will likely one day be aimed at Israel and the United States.