Tags: Barack Obama | Iran | Michael Mukasey | Cash Payment | Iran | Wrong

Michael Mukasey: $400 Million Transfer to Iran Not Illegal, But Wrong

(Fox News/"Happening Now")

By    |   Monday, 08 Aug 2016 01:49 PM

The United States' transfer of $400 million in foreign currency to Iran just before four American hostages may not have been illegal, but it was not done correctly and raises questions about where the funds eventually landed, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said Monday.

"The issue for me really is the way they transferred it," Mukasey, who served under President George W. Bush, told Fox News' "Happening Now" program. "In cash, there was no need to transfer it in cash and the president's account of why he did it doesn't make any sense."

President Barack Obama has said the United States does not have a banking relationship with Iran, so the money had to be sent by cash, Mukasey said, but he does not agree with that.

"It would have been child's play to send it to somebody who does have a banking relationship with Iran, and then send it over, and that way we can at least monitor, to some extent, the bank transfers," Mukasey continued.

"There was one entity in the Iranian government that has a use for cash, untraceable cash, and that's the people who handle terrorism worldwide for the Iranians."

The transfer, though, occurred overseas, but not from the United States or through the United States, Mukasey continued, so "technically, it wasn't unlawful."

But even had it been illegal, he continued, "there might have been an out for the government, because this is the kind that in a way, it doesn't hurt any particular person. Theoretically the government could argue that we were pursuing a foreign policy interest."

Mukasey continued, though, that he wants to see "what foreign policy interest they were pursuing, but so far they haven't accounted for that."

A congressional hearing could nail down answers about why the transaction was done in cash, where they money went, and why the government believed it was serving foreign policy, said Mukasey.

The money was part of some $12 billion in Iranian assets that were frozen after Iran's Revolutionary Guard seized 52 American hostages in 1979, reports Fortune.

After the hostage crisis was resolved in 1981, the United States returned $3 billion to Iran, putting the rest into escrow. A major issue remained between the two governments over the $400 million, that had been put down as a deposit by the former Shah of Iran, but was locked down after the hostage crisis.

There still remains $1.3 billion from a settlement that was reached, and Mukasey said Congress should have oversight over how the rest of the money is distributed.

"Let's see the settlement papers," said Mukasey. "There's a lawsuit in international courts, let's see the settlement papers."

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The United States' transfer of $400 million in foreign currency to Iran just before four American hostages may not have been illegal, but it was not done correctly and raises questions about where the funds eventually landed...
Michael Mukasey, Cash Payment, Iran, Wrong
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2016-49-08
Monday, 08 Aug 2016 01:49 PM
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