Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Iran wants more untraceable cash

Fox News: "Iran seeking 'many billions of dollars' in ransom to free US hostages."

Whatever gave them the idea we would pay ransom for hostages?  Oh, yeah, that $1.7 billion delivered on shipping pallets.


The Ransom of Red Grief said...

From Snopes:

The $400 million dollar transfer was actually an openly announced one, paid in settlement of a nearly 40-year dispute between Iran and the United States — a settlement that likely saved the United States several billion dollars.

...An international court based in the Hague, the Iran–United States Claims Tribunal was established to deal with such legal claims. The tribunal process dragged on for years and years without a ruling on the $400 million being issued, and finally, when arbitration process was apparently about to wind up (quite possibly not in American's favor), the U.S. agreed to pay Iran back the $400 million principal along with $1.3 billion in interest. If the issue had gone to the tribunal for a decision, as was expected, the U.S. could have been on the hook for the full $10 billion in compensation Iran was seeking.

...Charges that the U.S. had paid "ransom" to Iran for the release of hostages didn't even make logical sense. ...Iran was going to get that money back no matter what through the arbitration process — probably more, if the Obama administration was right. Why would [Iran] release potentially valuable hostages in exchange for money it would have gotten otherwise? Iran would have to be the world’s dumbest hostage taker.

...Of course Iranian officials would spin it as a hostage payment. This makes them look strong to their domestic audience and America look weak. We don’t take political spin from American officials at face value, so we shouldn’t take Iranian spin at face value either — especially when it’s contradicted by independent evidence.

By delivering the payment on the same day as the prisoner release, Iranian officials could claim that they got the money as part of a ransom deal. But the truth is that the Iranians could have claimed that no matter when the cash was delivered. If the Obama administration had forked over $400 million six months later, those same Iranian defense officials could have lied and said it was part of the prisoner release deal rather than the weapons settlement.

The lie isn’t significantly more credible just because the cash was delivered on the same day. Nor should American media and politicians help validate the Iranian lie by treating Iranian propaganda as actual evidence.

...The fact that the money was physically sent to Iran in various currencies rather than simply transferred by wire may seem odd in the context of the United States' increasingly cashless society, but that was done in order to avoid existing Treasury Department sanctions that banned the use of American currency in transactions with Iran, and international sanctions which at that time kept Iran from accessing the global financial markets (and which were lifted in January 2016).

Eric said...

"Senior Iranian officials, including the country’s president, have been floating the possibility of further payments from the United States for months. Since the White House agreed to pay Tehran $1.7 billion in cash earlier this year as part of a deal bound up in the release of American hostages, Iran has captured several more U.S. citizens."

It's almost like they've been encouraged to ransom off Americans for some reason.

Anonymous said...

It's the classic political maxim: "Follow the money that belonged to them and that they were certain to get no matter what."