In another example of the Biden administration doubling down on the worst aspects of the Obama administration, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Congress on Monday about his approval to transfer of $6 billion in funds to Iran in exchange for five Americans being held captive in the Islamic Republic.
To add insult to injury, the administration will also be releasing five Iranian citizens from U.S. prisons as part of the exchange.
So, Iran gets $6 billion in cash and its five citizens; the U.S. gets five Americans.
Blinken signed off on the deal last week that will give a blanket waiver to international banks to transfer Iranian funds from South Korea to Qatar without fear of U.S. sanctions being imposed, The Associated Press reported.
However, the Biden administration did not inform Congress of the waiver decision until Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, according to the notification obtained by the AP.
To facilitate the release of five American citizens, “the United States has committed to release five Iranian nationals currently held in the United States and to permit the transfer of approximately $6 billion in restricted Iranian funds held in (South Korea) to restricted accounts in Qatar, where the funds will be available only for humanitarian trade,” Blinken wrote in the notification to Congress, according to the AP.
Not surprisingly, the deal drew scathing criticism from Republicans.
Former President Donald Trump posted on Truth Social, “Can you believe that Crooked Joe Biden is giving $6 Billion to the terrorist regime in Iran? That money [will] be used for terrorism all over the Middle East, and, indeed, the World.”
“This incompetent FOOL is absolutely destroying America,” he continued. “He had the audacity to announce this terrible deal today, September 11th.
“To pay for hostages will lead to kidnapping, ransom, and blackmail against Americans across the globe. I freed many dozens of our people from various unfriendly countries and never paid a dime!” Trump wrote.
Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas posted on X, formerly Twitter, “First Joe Biden used 9/11 as an excuse to flee Afghanistan. Now he desecrates this day by paying ransom to the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism. Shameful.”
Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa argued that the money will go to fund Iran’s radical Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
……In January 2016, the Obama administration airlifted $400 million in cash to Iran at the same time four American hostages were released.
One of the American hostages, Saeed Abedini, told Fox News the plane carrying himself and the other Americans was not allowed to leave until another plane arrived first, which he understood to be transporting the pallets of cash.
The Wall Street Journal reported in August 2016 the $400 million was the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration agreed to pay the Islamic Republic from a judgment handed down at the international tribunal at The Hague.
……In another brilliant move, National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson praised Saudi Arabia on the anniversary of 9/11 for committing $20 billion to Biden’s “signature initiative,” the Partnership for Global Infrastructure.
Fifteen of the 19 al Qaeda hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi nationals.