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Bolton: Payment to Iran ‘Absolutely’ A Ransom, Hostage Release, Payment, and Nuke Deal ‘Part of a Package’

On Wednesday’s “Varney & Co.,” on the Fox Business Network, former UN Ambassador John Bolton said that the payment of $400 million to Iran as four Americans were released from the country back in January was “Absolutely” a ransom and that “the release of the hostages by Iran, the payment of a $1.7 billion settlement, of which the 400 million in cash was just the first installment, and the Iran nuclear deal were part of a package.”

Bolton said, “There’s no doubt in my mind whatsoever, that the release of the hostages by Iran, the payment of a $1.7 billion settlement, of which the 400 million in cash was just the first installment, and the Iran nuclear deal were part of a package. Now, were they considered separate agreements? Sure. Look, I’ve done this myself, but the notion that they were purely coincidental, utterly unrelated, is false.”

When asked, “Did we pay ransom for the release of hostages? Did we pay?” Bolton responded, “Absolutely, and Iran understood it that way, and so does the rest of the world.”

He added, “I think the reason that this all got wrapped together is that the administration made a political decision that they couldn’t do the nuclear deal unless they got at least some of the American hostages released. And so, I could easily imagine after a hard day of making American concessions, [Secretary of State] John Kerry saying to the Iranians, let’s talk about the hostages, and the Iranians saying, well, we’re not going to link that to the nuclear deal, but we’ll talk about the hostages if you talk about our $1.7 billion, and Kerry said yes, these are all independent, let’s talk, and away they went. So, it was a payment in exchange for the hostages, it may have been a separate agreement, it may have been negotiated in its technical details by separate people, it was part of one big deal.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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