The Biden administration has struck a deal with Iran to release five American citizens who were held prisoner in Iran.
In the negotiations, the Biden administration has agreed to release $6 billion in frozen assets to Iran.
More from the folks at Fox News:
The Biden administration has struck a deal with Iran to swap prisoners and release $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds.
Per the deal, Iran will release five American citizens detained in Iran and the U.S. release five Iranian citizens being held in the U.S.
The deal creates a blanket waiver to transfer $6 billion in frozen Iranian money from South Korea to Qatar without fear of violating U.S. sanctions. No money is going directly to Iran and no U.S. taxpayer funds are being used.
The United States classifies Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed off on the deal late last week, but Congress was not notified of the decision until Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to the notification, which was obtained by The Associated Press.
The transfer of the $6 billion was the critical element in the prisoner release deal, which saw four of the five American detainees transferred from Iranian jails into house arrest last month. The fifth detainee had already been under house arrest.
Due to numerous U.S. sanctions on foreign banks that engage in transactions aimed at benefiting Iran, several European countries had balked at participating in the transfer. Blinken’s waiver is aimed at easing their concerns about any risk of U.S. sanctions.
National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said Secretary Blinken undertook a procedural step last week “to ensure Iranian funds could move from one restricted account to another and remain restricted to humanitarian trade.”
Understandably, this is a very volatile subject to discuss.
I am grateful that Americans are returning home.
But this sets a bad precedent.
President Trump said it best on Truth Social:
So, lets get this straight! We did a hostage TRADE with Iran. We gave them 5 very tough, smart people that they desperately wanted. We likewise got back 5 people BUT, we also gave them 6 BILLION DOLLARS! How much of a kickback does Crooked Joe Biden get? Does anyone realize how… pic.twitter.com/i6QjDfIzKN
— Donald J. Trump Posts From His Truth Social (@TrumpDailyPosts) September 12, 2023
Make sure you read that.
Biden Admin Commemorates 9/11 by Announcing Deal to Pay Iran $6 Billion to Release U.S. Hostages https://t.co/4N8tiA7kBW
— RedState (@RedState) September 12, 2023
Biden trades hostages with Iran plus releases $6 billion in frozen Iranian assets. He, Blinkin, and the socialist have shown Iran how weak they are. They are laughing on Iran tonight!!
— Islander (@Islande02840941) September 11, 2023
Biden Regime Hands $6,000,000,000 to Terror Sponsor Iran for Hostages in Deal Announced on 9/11
Enemy of the people. Despicable. Literally rewarding terror. Expect more hostage taking – $1,200,000,000 a hostage is an enormous payout. https://t.co/yxqSDvuRh7
— 🇺🇸 Pamela Geller 🇺🇸 (@PamelaGeller) September 11, 2023
Indeed, this negotiation could have been completed at a different date.
But on the anniversary of 9/11?
It’s completely disrespectful.
More from the Hill on the story:
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Monday led Senate Republican critics in panning the Biden administration’s decision to release $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds in exchange for the release of five American detainees, calling the move “shameful.”
Cotton and other GOP senators reacted to news that the Biden administration issued a blanket waiver for international banks to transfer $6 billion in frozen Iranian money to facilitate the release of five Americans held by Iran.
“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,” Cotton said in a statement.
Other Republican lawmakers warned that rewarding Iran would only set the stage for future detentions of Americans traveling abroad.
“If we’re paying a billion dollars per kidnapped individual, then you’re going to see more kidnappings. That’s why you don’t negotiate with terrorists, that’s why you don’t negotiate with kidnappers. The idea of basically paying to release, in this effect, a hostage is a terrible idea,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).
“Remember back in the Reagan years, we had — was it — guns for hostages, that was the story, remember that? This is a billion dollars for a hostage,” Romney said.
The administration announced Monday that it would also release five Iranian prisoners.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) slammed the prisoner exchange on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
“It’s ridiculous for US to be blackmailed into paying $6B for hostages which will help indirectly finance the number 1 foreign policy of Iran: terrorism Last time it was $1.7B traded for hostages next time it will probably be $10B the price keeps going up & up,” he wrote.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said “all that does is encourage more kidnapping.”
Ron Johnson is correct.
This 100% encourages Iran to lock up more Americans to get funds from weak Joe Biden.
President Trump would have laughed in the Iranian government’s face.
We NEED President Trump back in the White House more than ever.