Obama: Iran Payment ‘Wasn’t Some Nefarious Deal’

Thursday at the Pentagon after meeting with his National Security Council, when asked about the $400 million payment to Iran looking like a ransom for hostages, President Barack Obama made the case that it “wasn’t some nefarious deal.”

Obama said, “Some of you may recall that we announced these payments in January. There was not a secret. We announced them to all of you. Josh did a briefing on them. This wasn’t some nefarious deal. At the time we explained that Iran had pressed a claim before an international tribunal about them recovering money of theirs that we had frozen, that as a consequence of its working its way through the international tribunal, it was the sentiment of our lawyers that there was significant litigation risk and we could end up costing ourselves billions of dollars. It was their advice and suggestions that we settle. That is what these payments represent. It was not a secret. We were completely open with everybody about it. It is interesting how suddenly this became a story again.”

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