Former Secretary of State John Kerry admitted on Friday that the Obama administration shelled out more than $1.7 billion to the Iran government, money they likely spent funding terror groups in the region or for the missiles they used to shoot down a Ukrainian commercial aircraft.
The admission came during an interview with CNN when Kerry said the Obama administration “gave them a little bit of money,” the Washington Free Beacon reports.
Yes, @JohnKerry is still a traitor…
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Republican Senator Ted Cruz pointed out the comment sounded similar to when Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar described the September 11th terrorist attacks as “some people did something.”
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some people did something. https://t.co/8hn106rtlM
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 12, 2020
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The Washington Free Beacon reports the Obama administration did, in fact, pay Iran $400 million and an additional $1.3 billion from U.S. taxpayer funds.
“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 per the report. “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 report adds:
Kerry admitted in 2016 that the billions in sanctions relief Iran got under the nuclear deal would go partly to financing terrorism.
“Money is fungible in any budget,” he said on Friday.
The Obama administration paid Iran $400 million, plus an additional $1.3 billion in interest from taxpayer funds, ostensibly to settle a dispute over military equipment Iran purchased but never received following the shah’s fall in 1979. Critics, however, described the payment as a “ransom” to secure the freedom of American hostages being held by the Tehran regime.
“Obama officials are the last people on earth who are pretending that the $1.7 billion wasn’t a ransom payment,” one foreign policy consultant who worked with Congress on the nuclear deal told the Washington Free Beacon at the time. “Everyone else knows what happened, which is that we rewarded Iranian hostage takers.”
The $1.7 billion was only an initial sum as the Obama administration later gave Iran even more money in the form of a sanctions relief program.
“As part of the nuclear deal Kerry brokered, Iran received $150 billion in sanctions relief in the form of unfrozen assets held in banks around the globe,” the Free Beacon continued, adding that the funds likely went to regional terror groups: “Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, backing such proxy groups as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.”
President Trump took to Twitter days after the admission to scrutinize Kerry.
“John Kerry got caught essentially admitting that funds given ridiculously to Iran were used to fund attacks on the USA,” the president tweeted. “Only a complete fool would have given that 150 Billion Dollars Plus to Iran. They then went on a Middle East Rampage!”
John Kerry got caught essentially admitting that funds given ridiculously to Iran were used to fund attacks on the USA. Only a complete fool would have given that 150 Billion Dollars Plus to Iran. They then went on a Middle East Rampage! @foxandfriends @PeteHegseth
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020