After the missile attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq by Iran, both President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed out that the Obama administration cut Iran a lot of money as part of the Iran Deal.
It’s not hard to wonder where Iran might be if the the mullahs hadn’t gotten that infusion of money given the state of their economy and the Iranians who have protested repeatedly. Not to mention whether the very money given to them in cash and in sanctions relief is now being used against us.
As we reported previously, the Obama administration not only gave Iran “pallets of cash,” with over a billion being sent, but they also got sanctions relief which meant a release of Iran of $150 billion as part of the Iran deal. Reportedly, they specifically released sanctions on IRGC terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani and some of his IRGC leaders which means they knew money would be flowing into their pockets. At the time, Kerry even admitted that money would be going to terrorists but he basically downplayed it as “oh well, stuff happens.”
We reported that Mike Doran says there are letters between the Obama administration and Soleimani that he thinks maybe people should be taking a look at now.
CNN apparently decided to give Kerry the opportunity to respond to Trump and Pompeo during an interview this weekend. But Kerry probably would have been better served if he just stayed home. Because once again, he showed that quality he has – open mouth, insert foot.
According to Kerry, who is married to a fortune from wife, Theresa Heinz, all those billions were just “a little bit of money.”
“We gave them a little bit of money that was released in that period of time, not as part of the nuclear arrangement,” Kerry said during an interview on CNN. “But the fact is the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] had all the money it wanted. The IRGC wasn’t starving at that point in time, and in fact, Iran owed billions upon billions of dollars. Most of that money went to pay off their debts and to facilitate their economic initiatives.”
The Iranian people who are in the streets tonight protesting against the government would beg to differ, Mr. Kerry.
He even seems to suggest giving Iran the money was actually saving American taxpayers money. Oh please, talk about ridiculous spin.
When asked about whether some the $150 billion in sanctions relief to Iran would go to terrorist groups, Kerry reiterated that, after settling debts, Iran would receive closer to $55 billion. He conceded some of that could go to groups considered terrorists, saying there was nothing the U.S. could do to prevent that.
“I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists,” he said in the interview in Davos, referring to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. “You know, to some degree, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented.”
But he added that “right now, we are not seeing the early delivery of funds going to that kind of endeavor at this point in time.”
The money in cash that was delivered in at least two payments included a $400 million then another payment of $1.3 billon. Some folks on the left have argued that that money was owed to them because of a legal finding. But there are a few problems with that argument. Yes, it’s true. But what’s also true is that it was owed to the prior government, not the mullahs, from before 1979. But we also managed to avoid giving it to them for 40 years, because, d’uh, terrorists. Somehow that calculation was lost on the Obama administration. But perhaps the critical point that always gets lost in the discussion of the cash is that American victims of Iranian terrorism had about $53 billion in legal claims against the government of Iran. So there was every argument as to why you should hold that money and never give it to Iran, if for no other reason than not to cheat the American victims who had already suffered so much. But they got tossed under the bus completely.
“A little money.” A lot of damage, all around.