No Doubt Left: Iran Payment Was Ransom

If a Republican president had done what Barack Obama did with Iran, it would be the biggest news story of the year. Obama has been caught in an outright lie, and it is unraveling right before our eyes. The $400 million ransom payment his administration made to Tehran in exchange for several American prisoners (read: hostages) was a startling departure from our country’s longstanding national security principle: We don’t negotiate with terrorists.

Obama’s mistake will have tragic consequences.

A new story in the Wall Street Journal leaves very little room for the White House to stand by its original fairy tale, which is that the payment was completely unrelated to the release of the prisoners and that the timing of the payment was purely coincidental. No one with a second grade education could possibly believe such a tale in the first place, but these new details should convince first graders, kindergartners, and possibly even Democrats.

“New details of the $400 million U.S. payment to Iran earlier this year depict a tightly scripted exchange specifically timed to the release of several American prisoners held in Iran,” wrote the Wall Street Journal. “The picture emerged from accounts of U.S. officials and others briefed on the operation: U.S. officials wouldn’t let Iranians take control of the money until a Swiss Air Force plane carrying three freed Americans departed from Tehran on Jan. 17. Once that happened, an Iranian cargo plane was allowed to bring the cash home from a Geneva airport that day.”

If true, this version of the story makes it clear that the money and the prisoner release were inextricably tied, making Obama a liar. And while we can all celebrate the short-term achievement of the exchange, the long-term results – now unavoidable – will be the kidnapping and murder of American troops and civilians.

Don’t kid yourself, though; this fatal mistake was not caused by the president letting his heart overrule his head. He knew full well that by saving these specific prisoners, he was shedding the blood of others to come. He didn’t do it for Jason Rezaian, Saeed Abedini, or anyone else imprisoned in an Iranian jail; he did it to secure the nuclear agreement and ensure the survival of his crowning “world peace” achievement.

In one fell swoop, President Obama created a much more dangerous world for Americans. His legacy is indeed secure.

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