August 20, 2016
President Obama lied to the American people about the U.S.’ $400 million payment to Iran, Donald Trump told supporters at a rally Saturday.
The cash payment to the Iranian government is at the center of a new fight between Republicans and the Obama administration. Republicans allege that the payment was a ransom in exchange for the release of three American prisoners in Iran.
Obama has denied that it was a ransom and dismissed the criticism. He said it was money the U.S. owed to Iran and had been announced months ago as part of a larger diplomatic agreement over Tehran’s nuclear program. The payment was part of a $1.7 billion settlement resolving a dispute from an arms deal that occurred in the 1970s.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that U.S. officials had withheld the payment until they were sure the captive Americans had been released.
The State Department on Thursday said they had withheld the payment as “leverage” but insisted again that it was not a ransom.