"Investigating the Obama administration's $400 million payment to Iran" PBS NewsHour 8/4/2016
NOTE: I remember when the payment was mad AND that it had nothing to do with the hostages. It was NOT secret, just not highly publicized. This is more the case of the media being asleep at the time.
SUMMARY: The Wall Street Journal revealed this week that in January, the Obama administration secretly airlifted $400 million in cash to Iran. The money was owed as part of a failed arms deal prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but payment coincided with the release of four Americans held in Tehran. Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Jay Solomon, the Wall Street Journal reporter who broke the story.
GWEN IFILL (NewsHour): The Iran nuclear deal has been a major issue in this year's presidential election. Detractors blame Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration for caving to Iranian demands, while receiving little in return.
Now revelations about U.S. payments to the Iranian government add a new wrinkle to those critiques.
Hari Sreenivasan has more.
HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour): This week, The Wall Street Journal broke news that the Obama administration secretly airlifted $400 million in cash to Iran. The money was owed as part of a failed Arms Deal Prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution. But the payment coincided within the release of four Americans imprisoned in Tehran, raising questions about cash for prisoners.
Donald Trump criticized the move today at his rally in Portland, Maine.
DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: Four hundred million in cash. It's being flown in an airplane to Iran. I wonder where that money really goes, by the way. Right? I wonder where it really goes.
Well, it went to either in their pockets, which I actually think more so, or toward terrorism, probably a combination of both.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Late this afternoon, President Obama pushed back and defended the U.S. decision to send the cash to Iran. He spoke at the Pentagon.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We announced these payments in January, many months ago. It wasn't a secret. We announced them to all of you.
Iran had pressed a claim before an international tribunal about them recovering money of theirs that we had frozen that, as a consequence of its working its way through the international tribunal, it was the assessment of our lawyers that we were now at a point where there was significant litigation risk, and we could end up costing ourselves billions of dollars. It was their advice and suggestion that we settle.