Iran demanded return of precious artifacts, billions in U.S. funds
The Obama administration has been shipping historical artifacts to Iran since last year as part of a secret détente that also included a taxpayer-funded payment of nearly $2 billion, according to a letter written by the State Department and exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Obama administration officials engaged in secret talks with Iran between June 2014 through at least January 2015 over a series of legal claims leveled against the United States by the Islamic Republic, the State Department disclosed in its letter.
“These discussions led to the settlement of claims for architectural drawings, which are now in the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, and for fossils, which are now in the possession of Iran’s Ministry of the Environment, and the parties also discussed the possibility of broader settlements,” the State Department wrote, in response to an inquiry launched in January by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.).
The Obama administration is seeking further settlements with Tehran to transfer assets, according to the State Department.
The administration’s latest admission about the backroom dealings with Iran were offered in response to a broader inquiry launched by Pompeo, who is seeking further information about the Obama administration’s payment of $1.7 billion in taxpayer funds to Iran, which many viewed as a “ransom payment” for Iran’s release of several U.S. hostages in January.
“After nearly two months of stalling, the State Department confirmed what I feared was true: the Obama administration is negotiating behind closed doors with the Islamic Republic of Iran and using taxpayer dollars to pay the regime,” Pompeo said in a statement on the letter. “Worse yet, more of these payments are likely coming.”
“Secretary Kerry still refuses to answer whether the $1.7 billion U.S. payment to Iran was related to the release of American hostages held by Iran,” Pompeo continued. “While we celebrate the return of these hostages, this administration could be setting a dangerous precedent, as innocent Americans continue to be held in Iran. I will not stop until we have all of the answers and will do all in my power to stop the Obama administration’s dangerous Iran policy.”
Full article: Obama Admin Delivered Property to Iran as Part of Secret Détente (Washington Free Beacon)