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Friday, March 23, 2018

The United States could pay Iran as ransom for American citizens

Iran confirmed that the US is really directed to $ 400 million in cash as a condition of the nuclear deal with Tehran. Media reports suggest that money was a ransom for American citizens, released under the terms of the transaction. In the United States with such explanations do not agree: the fact of transfer of money is explained by the payment of old debt. What did the US actually paid to Iran?

Payment of the US $ 400 million was one of the conditions of the Iranian nuclear deal, confirmed in Tehran. “It was part of the agreement we reached. It was part of the deal on the nuclear program” – said Monday the Minister of communications of Iran, Mahmoud Vaezi, adding that “they have already paid that amount.” Thus, Tehran has confirmed the information previously published in the American newspaper the Wall Street Journal that in January, the aircraft from the United States at the direction of the administration of President Barack Obama secretly brought to Iran a large sum of cash.

“The withdrawal by Iran of all its frozen funds from the U.S. could bring down the American economy”

The newspaper reported that the decision on payment was made after Iran agreed to release from their prisons of four American citizens: the Executive editor of the Washington Post Jason Retana, a veteran of the Navy seals Amir Hekmat, as well as the Christian preacher said Abedini and Nusratullo Khosravi-Roodsari. That was the conclusion of a nuclear deal between the countries. As a reciprocal gesture, the Americans released the seven Iranian citizens. Add that Tehran has freed another American, whose name did not appear in the transaction.

The WSJ stressed that the payment was made in foreign currency, which the United States has received from the Swiss banks, as in the time of money transfer operations with the Iranians using American dollars were forbidden. The plane that delivered the money, was the cargo and had no special markings.

USA immediately began to deny the existence of a causal link between the payment of money and the return of American citizens. Washington said that money was paid back in a much more long-standing contract – the sale to Iran of American arms, which was transferred a prepayment of $ 1.7 billion. The agreement was signed shortly before the Islamic revolution, after which the United States imposed sanctions on Iran, and all transactions, especially weapons, have become impossible. Tehran has for many years urged Washington to pay a penalty under this contract. Note that the fact of transfer of money in the United States is not denied.

The newspaper itself also does not exclude that the payment could be just perceived by the Iranian military as compensation for the release of the Americans, as the amount is big enough.

The January payment could be the first “tranche”, writes “Voice of America”. The publication also recalls that after the agreement on prisoner exchange, Obama said that “it is time to resolve the dispute regarding the claims on an arms contract.

If it turns out that the money was really a payoff for American citizens, it will be another major step to change U.S. policy towards the hostages – a country never, who does not buy. In 2015, Washington took an unprecedented step and allowed the relatives of the hostages to redeem their families. Before that, by the laws of the United States is threatened with criminal punishment and were regarded as financial assistance to terrorists. Senator Tom cotton already stated that such actions will lead to increased cases of taking the Americans hostage.

A spokesman for the White house Josh Ernest officially denied the information about the foreclosure, saying that “the United States has not paid and will not pay ransoms for Americans illegally detained in Iran”. “The only one who speaks about the situation in a similar vein, is the right-wing in Iran and Republicans in the United States, unhappy with the nuclear agreement,” he added.

“In the first place put forward a deal for the release of American citizens.”

Senior researcher, Center for Arab studies Institute of Oriental studies Boris Dolgov inclined to believe that all the recorded versions may be true, but for the first time put forward the release of American citizens.” “In my opinion, this deal for release of American citizens,” Dolgov said the newspaper VIEW.

The emergence of several versions, the expert believes, could affect the long negotiations between Tehran and Washington because during the negotiations these facts are mentioned in one way or another. “And was the deal before the adoption of sanctions against Iran and Tehran deal on the arms. This was done, but the weapons did not. Iran could claim the return of the money, but only after the lifting of sanctions. Here we can talk about the complex reasons, but put forward a deal for the release of citizens”, – he said.

If the Americans decided to pay the money for the return of their nationals, the amount of points that they could be carriers of very important information, says Debt. “Maybe they have information that was not supposed to go to the Iranians, they can be a valuable experts having professional and any other significance for US”, says Boris Dolgov.

In turn, the scientific Director of the Institute of applied Oriental and African studies, said Gafurov, also does not exclude that all versions in one way or another can take place, and that’s why such a deal could be possible.

However, Gafurov particularly interested in the question, on what conditions, the Americans agreed to give 400 million to Iran. “The conditions certainly are. Frozen money that the US will return much more than $ 400 million. And the Americans clearly have a lot of opportunities, this money is not repaid, to delay this process,” Gafurov said the newspaper VIEW.

He did not rule out that Teheran and Washington could be achieved by formal or even informal agreement that the money will remain in the United States. They can go into accounting for payment of any services, supply of equipment. “This is beneficial to the United States and Iran, because Tehran will have access to what it previously could not buy because of the sanctions (and in a roundabout way received via Dubai),” says Gafurov.

The analyst notes that the withdrawal by Iran of all its frozen funds from the U.S. could bring down the American economy, and it’s still one reason to put that money under the old contract remain in the US. According to Gafurov, what there can be agreement between the parties, it is difficult to assume, and it is unlikely that we will hear about them, if only the United States will not allow leakage of information”.

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