In a move reminiscent of the Obama administration, Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently informed Congress about his approval of transferring $6 billion to Iran in exchange for the release of five American citizens held captive in the Islamic Republic.
The Biden administration did not disclose the waiver decision to Congress until September 11th, the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Adding to the controversy, the U.S. will also be releasing five Iranian nationals from American prisons as part of the deal.
President Trump is calling out @JoeBiden for sending $6 BILLION to the terrorist regime Iran.
“He had the audacity to announce this terrible deal today, September 11th.”
Joe Biden loves Islamic terrorists. pic.twitter.com/JaJaqALwds
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) September 12, 2023
Under this arrangement, Iran receives $6 billion in cash along with its five citizens, while the U.S. secures the release of five American citizens.
Blinken authorized the deal, providing international banks with a waiver to facilitate the transfer of Iranian funds from South Korea to Qatar without the threat of U.S. sanctions.
In the process of securing the release of five American citizens, Blinken detailed that “the United States has committed to release five Iranian nationals currently held in the United States and to permit the transfer of approximately $6 billion in restricted Iranian funds held in (South Korea) to restricted accounts in Qatar, where the funds will be available only for humanitarian trade.”
This deal has faced severe criticism from Republicans.
Donald Trump posted, “Can you believe that Crooked Joe Biden is giving $6 Billion to the terrorist regime in Iran? That money [will] be used for terrorism all over the Middle East, and, indeed, the World.”
“This incompetent FOOL is absolutely destroying America,” he continued. “He had the audacity to announce this terrible deal today, September 11th.
President Trump did the Iran hostage deal. He got back 58 hostages for FREE!
Now crooked Joe gave them 6 BILLION dollars for 5 hostages! How much did the "Big Guy" get??? pic.twitter.com/9BBxXvVXvb
— 🇺🇸 🦅Cath'rin🦅 🇺🇸 (@catnap1013) September 14, 2023
“To pay for hostages will lead to kidnapping, ransom, and blackmail against Americans across the globe. I freed many dozens of our people from various unfriendly countries and never paid a dime!” Trump wrote.
Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas posted on X, “First Joe Biden used 9/11 as an excuse to flee Afghanistan. Now he desecrates this day by paying ransom to the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism. Shameful.”
Senator Joni Ernst from Iowa contended that the funds would ultimately finance Iran’s extremist Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“President Biden is going through with his $6 BILLION payout to the IRGC and its proxies. This will only greenlight Iran’s illicit actions and encourage further hostage ‘diplomacy.’ Biden’s failed strategy of appeasement must end.”
🚨President Biden is going through with his $6 BILLION payout to the IRGC and its proxies.
This will only greenlight Iran’s illicit actions and encourage further hostage “diplomacy”.
Biden’s failed strategy of appeasement must end.
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) September 11, 2023
Sen. Chuck Grassley said, “It’s ridiculous for US to be blackmailed into paying $6B for hostages which will help indirectly finance the number 1 foreign policy of Iran: terrorism.”
“Last time it was $1.7B traded for hostages next time it will probably be $10B the price keeps going up & up,” he said.
In January 2016, the Obama administration conducted an airlift, delivering $400 million in cash to Iran concurrently with the release of four American hostages.
Among the released American hostages, Saeed Abedini recounted that their plane was held on the ground until another aircraft, which he believed carried the cash, arrived first.
This $400 million payment constituted the first of a $1.7 billion settlement agreed upon by the Obama administration with the Islamic Republic.
The reason behind this payment was Iran’s prior payment to the United States for military equipment that was never delivered due to the 1979 overthrow of the shah of Iran during the revolution.
President Obama offered an explanation why authorized the payment.
It’s ridiculous for US to be blackmailed into paying $6B for hostages which will help indirectly finance the number 1 foreign policy of Iran: terrorism Last time it was $1.7B traded for hostages next time it will probably be $10B the price keeps going up & up
— Chuck Grassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 11, 2023
“With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well,” he said, nothing was mentioned of a cash payment.
Upon the payment’s public revelation, the Obama administration asserted that there was no connection between the payment and the release of hostages.
“As we’ve made clear, the negotiations over the settlement of an outstanding claim … were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home,” John Kirby said.
“Not only were the two negotiations separate, they were conducted by different teams on each side, including, in the case of The Hague claims, by technical experts involved in these negotiations for many years,” he added.
On the anniversary of 9/11, National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson commended Saudi Arabia for its commitment of $20 billion to President Biden’s “signature initiative,” the Partnership for Global Infrastructure.
was there literally no other day you could announce this?
— Abigail Jackson 🇺🇸 (@abigailmarone) September 11, 2023
President Joe Biden seems determined to amplify the negative elements of the Obama administration’s policies, whether they pertain to domestic or foreign affairs.