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Did Obama Send Iran $33.6bn in Physical Cash And Gold?

from TRU News:

The Obama administration may have secretly sent Iran $33.6 billion in cash, gold, and other precious metals, as part of the historic nuclear agreement.

Dubowitz to House Financial Services Committee: “Iran may have received as much as $33.6 billion in cash or in gold and other precious metals.”

In testimony to House Financial Services Committee: “In July, the Associated Press cited U.S. officials who estimated that Iran ‘brought home less than $20 billion.’ Were these funds repatriated to Tehran in cash or in gold and precious metals? Through the formal financial system? Or through some combination?”


“The administration should also clarify if the $20 billion dollars is inclusive of the $11.9 billion in [Joint Plan of Action] funds, or if the $20 billion was in addition to the $11.9 billion.”

“Either way, it is important to understand how funds were sent. The worst-case scenario here is that Iran may have received as much as $33.6 billion in cash or in gold and other precious metals.”

Secret payments were facilitated by the Obama administration between 2014 and 2016.

Between January 2014 and July 2015 Iran was paid $700 million a month from previously frozen U.S. sanctioned funds.

Paul Ahern, assistant general counsel for enforcement and intelligence at the Treasury Department: “Iran had to have it in cash.”

“Iran was very aware of the difficulties it would face in accessing and using the funds if they were in any other form than cash, even after the lifting of sanctions.”

“A cash delivery “was the most reliable way that they received the funds in a timely manner and it was the manner preferred by the relative foreign banks.”

Dubowitz response: “If the White House could only send cash to Iran from the start of the JPOA period through the Tribunal payment that could amount to a grant total of 33.6 billion. Did any of this money go through the formal financial system? If so, the administration is not being truthful about the 1.7 billion. If many billions arrived in Iran on pallets [of cash] this would be a pretty astounding revelation.”

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Mark Dubowitz, the Executive Director for Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has testified to Congress that the Obama administration may have sent Iran $33.6 billion in cash, gold, and other precious metals, as part of the historic nuclear agreement.

During his testimony to the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday Sep 8, Dubowitz disclosed that “Iran may have received as much as $33.6 billion in cash or in gold and other precious metals.” Dubowitz added that an official total of $11.9 billion was ultimately paid to Iran, but the details surrounding these payments remain a mystery.

Washington Free Beacon senior writer Adam Kredo summarized the testimonies revelations in his article “Iran May Have Received as Much as $33.6 Billion in Cash, Gold Payments From U.S.”:

“Iran may have received an additional $33.6 billion in secret cash and gold payments facilitated by the Obama administration between 2014 and 2016, according to testimony provided before Congress by an expert on last summer’s nuclear agreement with Iran. Between January 2014 and July 2015, when the Obama administration was hammering out the final details of the nuclear accord, Iran was paid $700 million every month from funds that had previously been frozen by U.S. sanctions.”

Top Obama administration officials admitted Thursday that the U.S. was forced to pay $1.7 billion in cash prior to the release of several U.S. hostages earlier this year, a payment the administration insisted needed to fulfilled in physical cash. Kredo from the WFB wrote that “top administration officials were adamant that the cash payments were the best way to ensure that Iran got immediate access to this money due to its ongoing difficulty accessing international funds still sanctioned by the West.”

IRAN PAYMENT MYSTERY

Providing lawmakers with the ammunition to press the Obama administration for answers on how payments to Iran were made in the years leading up to the final nuclear accord, Dubowitz told members of the House Financial Services Committee:

“In July, the Associated Press cited U.S. officials who estimated that Iran ‘brought home less than $20 billion.’ Were these funds repatriated to Tehran in cash or in gold and precious metals? Through the formal financial system? Or through some combination?” The administration should also clarify if the $20 billion dollars is inclusive of the $11.9 billion in [Joint Plan of Action] funds, or if the $20 billion was in addition to the $11.9 billion.”

Dubowitz added, “either way, it is important to understand how funds were sent. The worst-case scenario here is that Iran may have received as much as $33.6 billion in cash or in gold and other precious metals,” and that at least some of this money was likely sent in cash and other assets.

In addition to admitting the payment size, Obama administration officials disclosed that “the cash payment of $1.7 billion earlier this year was the easiest way to ensure Iran got immediate access to the money,” meaning that they were aware current sanctions and banking restrictions prohibited the U.S. from wiring funds to Iran electronically.

Regarding this, Dubowitz said that given the situation, it was likely that the multiple past payments to Iran were conducted in a similar fashion, adding:

“If the White House could only send cash to Iran from the start of the JPOA period through the Tribunal payment that could amount to a grant total of 33.6 billion. Did any of this money go through the formal financial system? If so, the administration is not being truthful about the 1.7 billion. If many billions arrived in Iran on pallets [of cash] this would be a pretty astounding revelation.”

IRAN WANTED HARD CASH

Also testifying Thursday to the House Financial Services Committee, Paul Ahern, assistant general counsel for enforcement and intelligence at the Treasury Department, said:

“Iran had to have it in cash. Iran was very aware of the difficulties it would face in accessing and using the funds if they were in any other form than cash, even after the lifting of sanctions. A cash delivery was the most reliable way that they received the funds in a timely manner and it was the manner preferred by the relative foreign banks.”

Speaking to Kredo from the WFB, Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official and expert on rogue regimes, said that cash payments of this nature are “highly irregular.”

Rubin said:

“There’s no reason it needed to be paid now. After all, successive administrations, both Democratic and Republican, have delayed payments so as to avoid funding Iranian terrorism. Likewise, if the United States freezes accounts linked to al Qaeda or Hamas, releasing it and saying, ‘It’s their money anyway,’ would not be a tenable explanation. Cash payments are highly irregular.”

Rubin added:

“The Iranians have been clear that they ‘perceived the payment to be a ransom’ despite the administration’s protestations. Not only has the delivery of the millions of dollars been perceived as a ransom, provided as an incentive to seize more hostages …. but because the money was delivered in cash the payment bolstered the strength of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and augmented its ability to finance and conduct terrorism.”

Read More @ TRUNews.com

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