Tags: Barack Obama | Iran | Obama | Iran Deal | Docs | Secure Site | Secret

Free Beacon: Obama Administration Keeping Iran Deal Docs at Secure Site

Image: Free Beacon: Obama Administration Keeping Iran Deal Docs at Secure Site

U.S. Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk, the U.S. representative to the anti-Islamic State coalition, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2016, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

By    |   Thursday, 06 Oct 2016 10:54 AM

Documents relating to the Obama administration's negotiations with Iran are being stored at a secure site on Capitol Hill, preventing the public and most congressional officials from gaining access, according to sources who described the situation to The Washington Free Beacon.

The documents are not classified but are being kept in a "secure reading space," and anyone cleared to view the documents is forbidden from taking notes or using cellular devices, said the sources.

Joint U.S.-Iranian signatures across the three documents add up to a deal between the Obama administration and Iran's internal spy agency, the Intelligence Ministry. In a January briefing, senior Obama administration officials told the Free Beacon's sources that the United States negotiated with "the Iranian intelligence apparatus."

Special presidential envoy Brett McGurk signed the arrangement, which had Iran release several U.S. hostages and set the Obama administration to pay Tehran $1.7 billion in cash, remove international sanctions on an Iranian bank, and drop charges against 21 Iranians with terror links, according to sources.

"There are three of them [agreements], and one specifically relates to the $1.7 billion [payment] and is a commitment of the U.S. to make arrangements to transfer the money," one congressional official told The Free Beacon.

A second document discusses the release of U.S. hostages and Iranians that the U.S. was going to pardon, and a third document related to dropping sanctions against Iran's Bank Sepah, which the Treasury Department in 2007 described as the "linchpin of Iran's missile procurement."

All the documents were part of the same deal, signed at the same time, and connected to the U.S. hostage release, according to a congressional source. A second senior congressional source told the Free Beacon that the documents prove that the hostage release was tied to concessions to Iran.

"If it looks like ransom and sounds like ransom, it's probably ransom," the source said. "Why else would Brett McGurk deal with his Iranian counterparts and sign agreements on all these seemingly unrelated issues on the same day and in the same place if they weren't connected?"

A third senior congressional official told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration did not notify officials that the documents were partially being made available. The source said, "The State Department knows that its Iran policy is embarrassing and often semi-illegal, so it hides documents related to Iran. State delays publication, refuses to answer questions, and puts extra restrictions preventing the Hill from even accessing the materials."

A State Department official declined to provide the Free Beacon with the name and affiliation of the Iranian official or officials who took part in negotiations with McGurk. The State Department also would not reveal the process by which Congress can view the documents.

The State Department official told the Free Beacon that lifting sanctions from Bank Sepah was after "careful review." The official added that the bank will still be cut off from the U.S. financial system and that its funds under U.S. jurisdiction would continue to be blocked.

Questions remain about the connection between payments to Iran and the freeing of hostages, which President Barack Obama has said was not ransom.

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Documents relating to the Obama administration's negotiations with Iran are being stored at a secure site on Capitol Hill, preventing the public and most congressional officials from gaining access...
Obama, Iran Deal, Docs, Secure Site, Secret
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2016-54-06
Thursday, 06 Oct 2016 10:54 AM
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