Iran gets $400 Million for Prisoner Exchange?

iran
The details came out this week of President Obama’s secret airlift of $400 million in cash to Iran. It coincided with the release of four Americans who had been detained by that country. It was the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement between the Obama administration and Iran for a failed arms deal that dates back to 1979, just before the fall of the Shah of Iran. The other odd coincidence in the timing was the formal implementation of the Obama nuclear deal with Iran.
Backstory: The Iranians were demanding the return of $400 million that the Shah deposited into a Pentagon trust fund in 1979 to purchase U.S. fighter jets. The $1.7 billion reflects interest that has accrued since then. The Obama administration has said that this was a very good deal and the American taxpayers are saving money.
At the time of the payment in January, Secretary of State John Kerry portrayed the release of prisoners as an important act of diplomacy. Neither he nor the President mentioned the $400 million in cash or the $1.7 billion settlement. However, senior Iranian officials describe it as a ransom payment.
The cash was converted from dollars into Eruos and Swiss currency and loaded onto pallets and flown on a cargo plane to Tehran. It was paid in foreign currency because cash transactions with Iran are prohibited. Congress was not notified of the exchange. Lawmakers have made repeated requests for information, but have been ignored by the administration.
The official report from the Obama administration is that on the morning of January 17, 2016, the four Americans were released in exchange for seven Iranian citizens held in the U.S., plus 14 others were dropped from an Interpol most-wanted list. There are still three Americans being held in Iran.
Why this Matters: Remember that Iran is the country run by ayatollahs who frequently shout, “Death to America” to throngs of Iranian citizens. The cash given to the Iranians will most likely find its way to terror groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, although the official line from the White House is that the money is being used to fund infrastructure improvements. Iran is also providing soldiers to support Assad-who we are at war with.
When spokesman Josh Earnest was asked by a CBS reporter for details on the cash payment, he responded, “Why is that relevant?” If there was nothing suspicious about it, then the details should be revealed. Earnest finished by saying, “We could not possibly have been more transparent about this arrangement…”
What’s to stop Iran from taking more American prisoners and holding out for greater sums of cash?
 
Father, if our highest officials refuse to follow the law, we know that You will not forget the evil that is done. Keep us from being worn down by treachery and evil secret deals. Help us to trust only in You.
 
Psalm 7:9 – Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.

From the Campaign Trail

  • Nude photos taken 21 years ago of Melania Trump have resurfaced on the cover of The New York Post. These were from her days as a model.
  • Khizr Kahn, father of an American/Muslim solider killed in Iraq in 2004 took the stage during the DNC to speak about his son and attack Trump. Trump responded in an interview the next day, wondering aloud why the man’s wife stood by him on stage and didn’t say a word–perhaps she wasn’t allowed to by Islam. Trump was harshly criticized in all corners for this comment. Kahn did not mention in his speech that he is a Muslim immigration attorney whose livelihood could be threatened by Trump’s stance on Muslim immigration.
  • Clinton got her convention “bump” in the polls and is leading Trump by ten points. Polls taken two weeks from now should give a more balanced idea of what Americans think about the candidates.

Continue praying for the election and for God to direct the path of the one who will be president. Father, influence this candidate’s thinking so the correct actions will follow. Help all Americans to look past what is unimportant in light of what is eternal. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Flooding in Maryland, Fires in California

During a flash flood on June 30, in Ellicott City, MD, nearly six inches of rain fell in a two-hour period. Two people died and dozens of homes and businesses were destroyed. Several people created a “human chain” to rescue one woman from her flooded car. Watch the amazing video by clicking here.

Crews are battling 30 major wildfires that have burned 700 square miles in 12 states, the worst of which are in California. Since July 22, nearly 46,000 acres have been destroyed near Big Sur and 57 home were lost. One man died when his tractor rolled over while he was helping battle the blaze. The fire is now moving into forested areas, away from communities.

Father, thank You for the successful battling of this blaze and for turning it away from populated areas. Send lower temperatures and precipitation to aid in the effort. Comfort the family of the man who lost his life in the fire and those who were killed in the flood.

Daniel 12:3 – And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament;
and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

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Comments

  1. Bit of a misleading headline. Iran got its own money back, since we never supplied the weapons it was a deposit for. The $400 million and the prisoner exchange are separate transactions. Those with an agenda (there and here) may try to spin it, but if we had continued our foot dragging on returning Iran’s money any longer, we were about to get slapped with big additional fines from international courts.

    If I pay you for a car, and then die before you deliver it, the contract is void. My survivors aren’t bound by the deal, and you have to return the money. Same situation.

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    • I hit “go” without checking to make sure the headline had a “?”–in other words, Was this an exchange?? Invisible Mikey, you could be right. However, the action was disapproved by the Obama Justice Dept. I guess they had a problem with it also. It did look an awful lot like money laundering since they sent foreign currency. Why was Congress not informed? Just a bit of a perplexing situation.

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      • I agree it gets confusing! There were objections from specific individuals in DOJ, but the Department took no official position either way, because hostage exchange negotiations are the State Department’s jurisdiction, not theirs.

        Many people do assume two things that happen at the same time MUST be related in some cause-and-effect fashion. But that’s a common logical fallacy. We have a complicated adversarial relationship with Iran involving freezing their assets and later unfreezing them, that goes back decades.

        I couldn’t guess why Congress wasn’t informed, unless it’s because Obama and Congress are also adversaries, and the President assumed the returned deposit would be misinterpreted, as it has been.

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