The United States’ sent Iran $400 million in debt plus $1.3 billion in interest, and the money was disbursed as a ransom payment for four American hostages of the Islamic regime, a top Iranian commander said Wednesday afternoon. Therefore, the U.S. paid the Iranian regime $425 million dollars per American hostage, according to the commander.
“The annulment of sanctions against Iran’s Bank Sepah and reclaiming of $1.7mln of Iran’s frozen assets after 36 years showed that the US doesn’t understand anything but the language of force,” said Iranian Basij Commander Brig Gen Mohammed Reza Naqdi, addressing his forces in Tehran.
“This money was returned for the freedom of the US spy and it was not related to the (nuclear) negotiations,” he claimed, according to state-controlled Fars News Agency.
Four Americans who were held hostage by the Islamic Republic – Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, Pastor Saeed Abedini, and Nosratollah Khosrawi Roudsari (who decided to stay in Iran) – were part of the deal that included the ransom payment, along with the release of seven Iranians who were sitting in American jails on charges of thwarting international sanctions, and the delisting of 14 Iranian nationals from Interpol’s Red List, which seeks international criminals for extradition.
A fifth American, Matthew Trevithick, who was imprisoned by Tehran, was also released, but under the terms of a separate deal, according to reports.
The U.S. State Department tells Breitbart News that the payment to Iran was “separate but simultaneous,” and not a ransom.
“We did not pay ransom to secure the return of these Americans. The funds that were transferred to Iran were part of a separate but simultaneous arrangement we agreed to with Iran related to the U.S.-Iran Claims Tribunal at the Hague,” a State Department spokesperson told Breitbart News late Wednesday.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters earlier on Wednesday in Washington that no ransom was paid, rejecting the remarks of the Iranian commander.
“There was no bribe, there was no ransom, there was nothing paid to secure the return of these Americans who were, by the way, not spies. We’ve spoken to this in the days after their release on Sunday morning in great detail about how this process worked. There was this consular channel that was opened up to secure their release,” Toner said.
However, the timing of the payment “is not a coincidence” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday. Instead, it’s a sign of “deeper diplomatic engagement,” he insisted.