The liberal media will simply take the President at his word on this

Iranian claim for compensation dismissed in 2009

By —— Bio and Archives--August 9, 2016

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In the midst of accusations that the Obama Administration’s payment of a negotiated claim by Iran for compensation was actually a ransom for hostages, a Speakin’ Out exclusive shows that the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal had actually dismissed Iran’s claim for compensation in July of 2009.

The accusations arose last Wednesday after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry received a letter from Representative Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, asking Kerry to appear at a future committee hearing to discuss the payment of $400 million to Iran on January 17.


But in a Washington Post article published in October 22, 2009, former negotiator at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal John B. Bellinger III reported that the claim, which was paid to Iran with bundled euros in an unmarked airliner on January 17, 2016, had actually been dismissed:

“In July [2009], the tribunal dismissed, 5 to 4, Iran’s claim for $2.2 billion in compensation for military equipment that had been ordered by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi but that the U.S. government had refused to allow U.S. companies to deliver after the hostage crisis.”

But somehow, that claim was reinstated, and President Obama announced on January 17, 2016, without any of the actual details, that it was being paid to the Iranians:

“The United States and Iran are now settling a long-standing Iranian claim against the United States government. Iran will be returned its own funds, including appropriate interest, but much less than the amount Iran sought.”

After playing the above news clip on Fox News Sunday, August 8, host Chris Wallace, asked U.S. Senator from Arkansas, Tom Cotton, why he was so upset about it. Cotton explained:

“At the time, I said that that $1.7 billion dollar payment was a ransom itself. But the Administration has consistently stonewalled Congress and the American people. We didn’t know the cash payment…was paid for with bills that can be easily laundered and used for terrorism or support for Iran’s allies throughout the region. And we didn’t know that the Department of Justice opposed it.

“I think it’s really shocking to most Americans the United States government was acting like a drug cartel or a third world gun runner might - 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 sponsors of terrorism.”

“When you give $400 million dollars in straight cash and 500 Euro notes, a note that is notoriously used for terrorism and drug running around the world, so much so that the European Union is taking it out of circulation, I think that’s an important fact for the American people to know.”

“...paying the $1.7 billion dollars - not money that they deserved, not money that they had a right to - on the very weekend that four Americans were released from captivity, and the nuclear deal was implemented, was a ransom payment, and that would lead to the detention of more hostages in Iran, which is exactly what has happened in the meantime.”

Wallace also referenced an August 4, 2016 article in the Wall Street Journal by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, “The $400 Million: Legal but Not Right,” which pointed out the only explanation there could be for these untraceable funds being paid in such a secretive way:

“But why cash, and why in an unmarked cargo plane?... The apparent explanation isn’t pretty. There is principally one entity within the Iranian government that has need of untraceable funds. That entity is the Quds Force—the branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps focused particularly on furthering the regime’s goals world-wide by supporting and conducting terrorism.”

Not only are Democrats and the mainstream liberal media working overtime to make this payment out to be something other than a ransom payment, but so-called fact-checker Snopes.comessentially uses “because the President says so” as “proof” that this was not a ransom payment. 

“The point is that Snopes is conveniently glossing over the most salient and important news item to come out of the initial story: that Iran demanded the money in exchange for the hostages and that Iranian officials call the money a ‘ransom payment.’

Bellinger also gave some history of the tribunal and the Algiers Accords, which created the tribunal, in a Wall Street Journal article two-and-a-half years ago on January 26, 2014:

“The Algiers Accords were negotiated over 10 weeks from November 1980 to January 1981 between then-Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher and the Iranian foreign minister, with the Algerian government serving as an intermediary. Under the final agreement, Iran agreed to release the American hostages, while the U.S. agreed to release $7.9 billion of Iranian assets frozen in U.S. banks and agreed not to interfere in the internal affairs of Iran. Both parties agreed to form a tribunal to resolve remaining disputes between them.”

“The accords, signed on January 19, 1981, the day before President Reagan’s inauguration, are best known for producing the release of the 52 American hostages held captive in Iran. But the agreement also created an international claims tribunal in The Hague to resolve the complex contractual and property disputes between the two countries.

“The Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, which began operation in July 1981, was expected to decide all claims within a few years, yet it remains in operation three decades later.”

“Over the past three decades, the tribunal has issued more than 600 awards and settled more than 4,700 claims. Most of the claims have been made by U.S. businesses whose property was expropriated by Iran, but some were made by Iranian nationals and businesses who had property in the U.S. as of the date of the hostage-taking that could not be returned…”

The tribunal dismissed Iran’s claim in 2009! Somehow, Secretary of State John Kerry, or his immediate predecessor, Hillary Clinton, let this issue be brought up again, to be resolved in Iran’s favor this time. With all this miraculous coincidence of events in January, perhaps we should submit John Kerry’s name to the Vatican to have him made a saint!

The liberal media will simply take the President at his word on this, like they did with President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton leaving besieged Americans helpless in Benghazi, and like they did with President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder sending guns to the Mexican cartels in the Fast and Furious scandal. But the rest of us need to keep digging for the truth and holding this Administration responsible for its actions.


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Rolf Yungclas -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Rolf Yungclas is a recently retired newspaper editor from southwest Kansas who has been speaking out on the issues of the day in newspapers and online for over 15 years

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