August 19, 2016
Various media outlets today are reporting some disturbing news: that the U.S. State Department has confirmed a $400 million cash payment to Iran was linked to the release of multiple Americans that were held by Tehran.
Heritage Foundation experts have been tracking this issue—as well as the challenges with the Iran nuclear deal overall—for some time now. Luke Coffey, director of the Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies here at Heritage, noted some disturbing trends when it comes to the cash shipment and the Iran deal:
“The Obama Administration has violated a long standing U.S. policy—probably dating back to the time of the Barbary Wars—of never paying ransom for U.S. hostages overseas.” Coffey explained
“The Obama Administration has now put a value on captured Americans. This will undoubtedly place Americans under a greater risk in the future of being captured for ransom. This revelation is just the latest example of how the Iran deal was bad for America and bad for its allies.”
James Jay Carafano, the Heritage Foundation’s Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, put the situation in even starker terms:
“We have to go back to the root of the problem: The Obama Administration's objective was to get a deal with Iran at any price—and make it look as attractive as possible,” Carafano explained. “The deal doesn't serve the vital interests of the U.S. or contribute to peace and stability in the region—not a surprise since the goal was to get a deal, not solve a problem.”
“The White House conducted a campaign worthy of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, to hide the truth and then obfuscate everything after.”