Expect Iran to Bid Up the Next Batch of U.S. Citizens They Hold Hostage

(AP Photo/File)

The brigands and pirates who run the Iranian government are no doubt in the process of scouting out the next group of unwary — but forewarned — Americans who are walking the streets of Tehran or some other city. They’ll be picked up and accused of espionage or some other trumped-up charge, thrown in Evin Prison or some other hellhole, and left to rot until an American president relents and pays the ransom being demanded.

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Even that might not be enough, as we discovered with the five Americans released earlier in the week when the factionalized Iranian government almost backed out of the deal as they demanded still more concessions from the Biden administration.

“They’re always just trying to throw sand in the gears, always trying to negotiate and try to get more and more,” an anonymous official told CNN. “We’ve taken a very firm line and a very principled position, so we stood firm.”

You wouldn’t have paid a ransom if you had any principles at all, you jackal.

The Iranians wanted to release only three of the hostages, presumably retaining the others to hold up Biden for a couple of billion more. Again, this is business as usual when one faction or another makes another demand and won’t sign off on a deal until it’s met. In this case, it appears some Iranian with more clout ordered the release anyway.

The Iranians even threatened not to include all five of the Americans in the release unless the US did more, the officials told CNN.

But having come this far, the Americans made clear they were not going home without all five – it was a non-negotiable to the US and the Iranians relented.

“We held our line and the Iranians backed down and we made it work,” a senior State Department official said.

The US officials suggested the negotiators didn’t see these Iranian attempts as a significant threat that could sink the deal, but rather as part of a typical strategy by Tehran.

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As David Harsanyi asks, why is the Biden administration celebrating?

The Iranians released political hostages, snatched off the streets of Tehran after unwisely returning to visit family or attending funerals or protests. Many of them were reportedly thrown into the notorious Evin Prison for the crime of having dual citizenship. Some, like Siamak Namazi, were put in solitary confinement for over two years.

Conversely, the United States released a bunch of spies, most of them caught trying to send military and nuclear equipment back to Iran — all of them given the benefit of due process.

Having a moral imperative to retrieve American citizens from these fascist regimes is admirable. Incentivizing more kidnappings is not. So, it’s one thing for the Biden administration to contend, “we did what he had to do” and quite another for them to celebrate as if they had just signed the Peace of Westphalia.

“No ransom for hostages” used to be a hard and fast U.S. policy when dealing with Middle Eastern terrorists over the last 40 years. Unfortunately, the policy didn’t prove to be feasible when families were involved. Now it’s become de rigueur to pay for our hostages — just like we paid the Barbary pirates for our citizens kidnapped in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

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Jefferson eventually blew the Barbary pirates out of the water. A shame Biden doesn’t handle the Iranian hostage outrages in a similar manner.

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