Obama thought he found a loophole to send payoffs to Iran, but did he instead find a snare?
The Obama administration’s massive payoffs to Iran are raising questions about more than just its national security implications.
Obama refuses to tell Congress where they got the money for the $1.7 billion in payments to Iran.
The funds were sent to Iran as part of a settlement for over $400 million in military equipment Iran had ordered from the U.S. in the 1970s but were never delivered due to the country’s Islamic revolution.
The Obama administration settled the dispute with the Islamic dictatorship, returning their $400 million in cash and then sending $1.3 billion in interest payments.
“If this payment was, as the Obama administration insists, a straightforward settlement of an old debt that it would have cost America more to contest, why all the secrecy?,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) tells The Washington Free Beacon.
The Beacon reports:
While the administration has remained silent about the circumstances surrounding the payment, investigative reporter Claudia Rosett recently disclosed that the Treasury Department transferred just under $1.3 billion to the State Department in 13 “large identical sums.”
The funds, allocated for “foreign claims,” could shine a light on how the administration moved taxpayer funds into the State Department’s purview in order to provide the additional payment to Iran.
In 13 individual payments of $99,999,999.99, the Treasury Department moved a total of 1,299,999,999.87, which roughly amounts to the remaining money owed to Iran.
While the original $400 million was returned in hard foreign currency, Congress was not informed how the $1.3 billion in interest was given to Iran.
Obama claims the payment was made in foreign currency, because the two countries do not have a banking relationship – ignoring the fact the payment could have been made through a third party.
National Review’s Andrew McCarthy notes federal law expressly states that when dealing with Iran “the clearing of U.S. dollar- or other currency-denominated transactions through the U.S. financial system or involving a U.S. person remain prohibited.”
Payments to Iran in the form of currency, U.S. or foreign, is a federal crime.
And it had the Justice Department concerned. Department officials strongly objected to Obama’s payments and warned the White House against making them.
Is that why the Obama administration suddenly won’t reveal how the $1.3 billion was transmitted?
And what, if anything, will Congress do to find out or enforce the law?