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September 8, 2016 8:39 pm

Iran Expert Tells Congress: Obama Administration Might Have Given Tehran Over $30 Billion in Cash, Gold Payments

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Foundation for Defense of Democracies Executive Director Mark Dubowitz. Photo: FDD website.

Foundation for Defense of Democracies Executive Director Mark Dubowitz. Photo: FDD website.

While the Obama administration has admitted to transferring $1.7 billion in cash earlier this year to Tehran, even more cash might have been given by the US to the ayatollahs following the January 2014 implementation of the interim nuclear agreement reached by the Islamic Republic with six world powers, an Iran expert revealed at a congressional hearing on Thursday.

According to the testimony of Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, “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” between 2014 and 2016.

Addressing a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Dubowitz said that during the negotiations on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the P5+1 nations allowed Iran “to repatriate $11.9 billion dollars from restricted, overseas oil escrow accounts. Taken on average, these payments from accounts in foreign banks amounted to roughly $700 million per month.”

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Alluding to the prospect that these payments were made in cash, Dubowitz asked, “If no mechanism existed in the formal financial system to transfer the $1.7 billion to Iran, what mechanism was used to transfer the $11.9 billion?”

Dubowitz went on to say, “In July, the Associated Press cited US 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 JPOA (Joint Plan of Action, i.e. the interim nuclear deal) 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 FDD head made three recommendations to Congress — “pass legislation requiring the administration to be fully transparent on details surrounding its transfer of cash to Iran”; “prohibit large cash and precious metals tranfers to and withdrawals by state sponsors of terrorism”; and “create a legal mechanism to move escrow funds to a global bank in a country where Iran wants to shop.”

Concluding his testimony, Dubowitz stated, “The illicit financial consequences of cash transfers to Iran warrant further congressional investigation beyond whether such a payment was a ransom. It is important to investigate the possibility that the Obama administration authorized the movement in cash of many billions of dollars related to JPOA and JCPOA sanctions relief as well as Tribunal claims.”

Furthermore, he said, “the transfer of this cash, which is untraceable, easy to hide, and valuable to a regime like Iran’s with billions of dollars in illicit activities, would have severe consequences for American national security and that of our regional allies. If the administration refuses to answer fundamental questions about the nature and extent of the movement of cash to Iran, Congress needs to pass legislation to force much-needed transparency and disclosure.”

Meanwhile, in a reference to the Iran cash controversy, Texas Senator and former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz tweeted, “Americans deserve an explanation of why the Obama Admin is using their money not to fight terrorism, but to fund it.”

In an interview with The Algemeiner last month, former State Department Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller said the “cash-for-prisoners” controversy has played into the hands of Iranian hardliners and helped bolster the image of growing US weakness in the Middle East.

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  • Eddie

    I wonder how much of a kick-back Barack Obama is slated to get if and when he leaves the White House?

  • Isaac Bensussen

    It is amazing the way that this President gets away with giving away billions of dollars of tax payers money disregarding a non-functional Congress that seems to be happy going
    along with abusive executive powers so they don’t have to work or fight against abuses.
    They should all be fired and start anew.

  • Dani

    No wonder why Netanyahu has to go to Moscow to deal with Putin regarding Mahmud Habbas and the Palestineans. The US went a long way further than Russia is supporting the Iranians this time. And that´s a lot to say, considering the nuclear facilities and the S-300 defensive system they had already providend to the Ayatollahs, thanks to the international lifting of economic sanctions on that regime.

  • Kris Kristian

    This whole business smells of Obama and Kerry rewarding the enemy with huge amounts of money to spread their hatred and terrorism around the world.
    They should both be arrested and sent on trial for this.
    What are they getting in return?
    They are supplying the murderous regime, which wants to destroy USA and her ME ally, Israel.

    It is not only Israel, but there are many Muslim countries which Iran will attack as well.

    Iran is building nuclear weapons,.

  • How much more proof do Democrats need? There is conclusive proof that the Obama Maladministration feeds large sums of money, to Iran for the purposes of promoting terror and weakening USA Influence (if any is left now) in the middle east.
    Vote Democrat as terrorists need more money and Obama is happy to give as as will Clinton. America is at war with itself using taxpayers money to fund their own demise!

  • stevenl

    Obama & Clinton have taught each other how to deceive and lie to the congress and the American people.
    One fact is clear: the democrats love to be lie to. Absolutely amazing. That is what Islamists, socialists and communists do to their own people!
    The increase of ILLEGAL immigration will benefit the poor and middle class! Otherwise why would the elite Lt & Rt try to convince the poor and middle class of this INSANITY???
    Because it benefits ONLY the elite, WS, the rich and the connected!

  • JEAN

    http://overpassesforamerica.com/?p=4661
    Obama’s closest chief advisor is Valarie Jarrett, his mentor (handler?. She is an Iranian and possibly a Muslim. No wonder Iran is getting whatever Obama wants to give them.

  • Zg

    This is propestorous, criminal and treasonous. Barak Hussain should be jailed!!!

  • John Train

    “In an interview with The Algemeiner last month, former State Department Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller said the “cash-for-prisoners” controversy has played into the hands of Iranian hardliners and helped bolster the image of growing US weakness in the Middle East.”

    Aaron David Miller supported Rob Malley a former Palestinian Authority operative and sworn Israel hater for his White House appointment.

    Miller is a Obama administration apologist, even though he criticizes them from time to time

    No, David it is not the “cash-for-prisoners controversy” that causes the United States to appear weak in the Middle East and in the world… Is the payment of ransom by the US government and other Obama actions

    The Jewish community should be aware that the United States is the biggest sponsor of terror and despite administration denials the bulk of this money will go to kill Jews in South America, the Middle East and everywhere else in the world.

  • Lia

    I’ve read that after the 4 hostages had been delivered to the USA Iran promptly took another 3. They must have been very encouraged by the first response.

  • Reform School

    Jewish Liberal heads are so far up Wasserman’s butt, they’d elect Adolf Hitler President if Dumbocrats nominated him.

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