Tags: Justice Department | Warned | Iran Payment | Ransom

Justice Dept. Official Warned $400M Iran Payment Would Be Seen as Ransom

Image: Justice Dept. Official Warned $400M Iran Payment Would Be Seen as Ransom

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By    |   Friday, 12 Aug 2016 02:16 PM

One of the highest-profile officials within the Justice Department objected to the $400 million cash payment to Iran and warned the State Department that it would be seen as ransom money, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

John Carlin, head of the Justice Department's national security division, was among several senior Justice officials who raised serious concerns about the Jan. 17 payment, according to the Journal.

Though the payment was part of a near $2 billion settlement that originated in 1979, the U.S. delivered the cash the same day that Iran released four Americans it had detained.

U.S. policy dictates not paying ransom money for hostages, President Obama reiterated the U.S. doesn't pay money for hostages, but the optics made it look like the U.S. paid $400 million in cash for hostages, an act that drew condemnation from Republicans.

"We didn't know that it was paid for with bills that could be easily laundered and used for terrorism . . . We didn't know that the Department of Justice opposed it," Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, said.

"I think it's really shocking to most Americans that the United States government was acting like a drug cartel . . . Stacking cash on a pallet and wrapping it in cellophane and flying it in an unmarked aircraft to give to the world's worst state-sponsored terrorism."

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One of the highest-profile officials within the Justice Department objected to the $400 million cash payment to Iran and warned the State Department that it would be seen as ransom money, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Justice Department, Warned, Iran Payment, Ransom
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2016-16-12
Friday, 12 Aug 2016 02:16 PM
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