Israel rejects Obama's latest remarks on Iran nuclear deal

Posted August 06, 2016

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence blasted the Obama administration on Thursday over a $400 million payment to Iran, which occurred around the time four American prisoners were released, calling it "ransom" that "essentially put a price tag on every American traveling overseas".

Israel's defense ministry on Friday fired back at comments made by US President Barack Obama over the Iran nuclear deal, saying that the agreement is "harmful, just like the Munich agreement with Hitler".

The payment, which was reported in January by various news outlets, came as the United States sought to settle financial claims with Iran around the time that Iran was implementing, together with the United States and five other major world powers, the sanctions relief for nuclear rollback deal.

Although he did not disclose the $400 million cash payment at the time, Obama did suggest the United States would give money to Iran.

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The disclosure threatens to complicate efforts by the administration to downplay new reports detailing how USA officials used an unmarked aircraft to transfer $400 million in "pallets of cash" to Iran on the same day it freed several US hostages.

The money - which consistently mainly of foreign currencies - was shipped in an unmarked cargo plane around the same time Iran released four American prisoners.

"It wasn't a secret, we were completely open with everyone about it", Obama said, insisting that the State Department publicly announced the payment last January.

Senior Republicans, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain of Arizona, on Wednesday blistered the Obama administration for handing over what they called a ransom payment. "This wasn't some nefarious deal".

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President Barack Obama said Thursday he does not trust Russian Federation to cooperate militarily with the United States on ending or slowing the civil war in Syria but that the proposition must be tested to try to bring an end to the conflict. Now the transfer has been hit with accusations of President Barack Obama's administration paying "cash for hostages". Because the money transfer occurred simultaneously with the release of the hostages, it has been criticized as a ransom payment. "It would also mark another chapter in the ongoing saga of misleading the American people to sell this risky deal". We've got a number of Americans being held all around the world, and I meet with their families, and it is heartbreaking.

The payment has revived allegations from critics of the Iran nuclear deal.

"We could not send them a cheque". They've already taken more Americans captives - probably as insurance until they receive the balance of that $1.7 billion.

US officials have said they were concerned that the tribunal might order the pay billions more in interest as part of an enforced judgment and that settling the claim in January made good sense. The agreement has "worked exactly the way we said it was going to work", he said.

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