$1.7 billion that the Obama administration sent to Iran two years ago found its way into the hands of Iran-backed terrorists, The Washington Times reports.
Over the two years since the money was transferred, Iran has used the cash to fund terror groups such as Hezbollah as well as Houthi rebels in Yemen. That’s right — U.S. taxpayers financed terrorism at the behest of the Obama administration.
The money was delivered in three separate payloads to Iran in January and February of 2016, allegedly to settle a decades-old arms deal.
This is hardly an isolated example of Obama’s indulgences in favor of Iran. Politico reported in December that the Obama administration blocked criminal investigations of Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah to push the Iran deal through. Obama’s record on Iran looks instead like a pattern of appeasement.
Obama millions went to terrorists
The $1.7 billion in cash the Obama administration delivered to Iran in 2016 has been criticized by conservatives including President Trump, who claims the money was used to arm terrorists.
According to sources in the U.S. government, he’s correct.
The Times reports:
The American money sent by the Obama administration was first flown to Switzerland aboard an unmarked chartered aircraft, and then converted into euros, Swiss francs and other currencies. An Iranian transport aircraft flew the cash to Iran in January and February 2016 in three shipments. The first aircraft arrived in Tehran on Jan. 16, 2016, with $400 million piled on wooden pallets. Two other aircraft shipments of cash were sent on Jan. 22, 2016, and Feb. 5, 2016, totaling $1.3 billion.
U.S. intelligence officials have traced some of that money to multiple groups in Iran’s covert, far-flung terror network. The Washington Times details how Iran has used the cash to pay Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah and to arm Houthi rebels in Yemen, where the Islamic regime is waging a proxy war with its chief regional enemy, Saudi Arabia.
Iran has also used the money to pay the Quds Force, a special forces unit and primary foreign intelligence branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The Obama administration then said that the money was sent to Iran as payment for an outstanding debt on a decades-old arbitration claim. The initial $400 million delivered to Tehran in January of 2016 was reportedly in return for an arms purchase made by Iran in the 1970s that never went through.
Shah Pahlavi’s government bought American planes in the 1970s, but the deal went awry when the Revolution occurred in 1979. The Obama administration claimed it was paying that outstanding debt, with an additional $1.3 billion in interest delivered in two additional installments in January and February.
Critics noted the timing of the $400 million initial payment and the release of four American hostages, provoking speculation that Obama was paying a ransom. The administration later acknowledged that the money was withheld as leverage to push for the hostages’ release.
President Trump has criticized the Obama administration for helping to arm terrorists.
The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their “pockets.” The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
“The enormous financial windfall the Iranian regime received because of the deal—access to more than $100 billion, including $1.8 billion in cash—has not been used to better the lives of the Iranian people. Instead, it has served as a slush fund for weapons, terror, and oppression, and to further line the pockets of corrupt regime leaders”, reads the White House’s statement on Iran.
President Trump is correct. Obama had good reason to knew this cash would end up in the hands of terrorists.
Iran’s connections with terror groups are not a secret. And recent reports demonstrate how the Obama administration deliberately blocked the Justice Department’s investigations into Hezbollah’s criminal activities.
Regardless of intent, there is no doubt that Obama aided terrorists with these cash transfers. This either completely misguided policy or a failed attempt at appeasement.