News & Politics

Kerry on Billions in Iran Payments: 'We Gave Them a Little Bit of Money'

U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, gestures during his speech at the Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

John Kerry and Barack Obama have blood on their hands after giving $1.7 billion in cash payments to Iran. That money was used to finance terrorist attacks and buy weapons that are currently killing innocent civilians in Yemen and Syria. This much is certain.

But you’d never know it listening to John Kerry. He thinks it’s no big deal that the U.S. paid half a billion dollars in cash to get a few American hostages out of Iranian jails. Neither does he think the nearly $2 billion in funds the Obama administration sent along to Tehran did anything except pay down the ayatollah’s debts.

Washington Free Beacon:

“We gave them a little bit of money that was released in that period of time, not as part of the nuclear arrangement,” Kerry said. “But the fact is the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] had all the money it wanted. The IRGC wasn’t starving at that point in time, and in fact, Iran owed billions upon billions of dollars. Most of that money went to pay off their debts and to facilitate their economic initiatives.”

Iran, indeed, may have used that “little bit of money” to pay off its debts — which freed up other monies to send to Hezbollah and other Shia armed groups all over the Middle East. Is he really that ignorant, or is he simply trying to obfuscate the facts?

It’s true that the $1.7 billion in cash paid to Iran was not part of the sanctions relief Iran got under the nuclear deal. Instead, the monies were from an arms deal gone sour when Iran erupted into chaos in 1979.

The monies Iran got from unfreezing its assets was bad enough. But the windfall that fell into the mullahs’ lap after their assets were unfrozen can’t be brushed off.

As part of the nuclear deal Kerry brokered, Iran received $150 billion in sanctions relief in the form of unfrozen assets held in banks around the globe. The U.S. Treasury Department estimated Iran had roughly $55 billion left over of that amount after fulfilling its other financial obligations, according to the Washington Post.

Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, backing such proxy groups as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Kerry and the Obama administration insist to this day that: 1) they didn’t pay ransom for American hostages, and 2) Iran didn’t use the cash for terrorism. Is that right?

“Obama officials are the last people on earth who are pretending that the $1.7 billion wasn’t a ransom payment,” one foreign policy consultant who worked with Congress on the nuclear deal told the Washington Free Beacon at the time. “Everyone else knows what happened, which is that we rewarded Iranian hostage takers.”

The Obama administration denied the cash was a ransom, but the State Department later admitted it delayed the initial $400 million payment as “leverage” to secure the release of three prisoners held by Iran.

According to several sources, Iran pays the terrorist group Hezbollah $700 million every year. Every dollar that Iran used to pay down its debt was one more dollar for Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthis, and Shia terrorists throughout the region. Of course Kerry and Obama have blood on their hands.

Maybe Kerry is simply denying reality. It’s a helluva thing to live with the knowledge your arrogance and stupidity has cost hundreds — perhaps thousands of innocents their lives. It’s so much easier for Kerry to retreat into his fantasy world while the harsh reality of his blundering continues to bedevil the world.