David Iaconangelo, CSM: Was $400 million in cash paid by US to Iran a form of ransom?
The first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement paid by the United States to Iran was paid in bundles of foreign currencies, says a new report.
The Obama administration secretly airlifted $400 million in foreign currencies to Iran in January, transporting the cash on an unmarked cargo plane, says a new report from The Wall Street Journal.
That payment was the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement paid by the United States to Iran to end a 35-year-old legal dispute over US arms bought by the Iranian shah, which were never delivered after the 1979 revolution. The White House has framed the settlement as a victory, citing widespread expectations that the US would lose its claim in international arbitration court, potentially making it liable for a much bigger sum.
But the cash payment also coincided with the January release of five Americans held prisoner by Tehran, awakening renewed accusations that the Obama administration paid what amounted to ransom in exchange for the prisoners.
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Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- August 4, 2016
Is Obama, Like Reagan, Trading Hostages With Iran? -- Micah Zenko, Newsweek
Analysis: Why The Battle For Aleppo Could Change The Direction Of The War In Syria -- David Patrikarakos, RFE
America's war for the Greater Middle East -- Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera
Even after purging the army, Erdogan will be anxious -- David Gardner, Financial Times
Immigration threat gives Turkish President Erdogan the whip hand over Europe -- Andrew McCathie, ABC News Online
EU-Turkey refugee deal hinges on Greece -- Bernd Riegert, DW
Do tourists really go to Afghanistan? -- Roland Hughes, BBC
Who Runs Boko Haram? -- Krishnadev Calamur, The Atlantic
In naming new leader, has ISIS fractured Boko Haram? -- David Iaconangelo, CSM
Will US strikes on IS deepen Libya divisions? -- AFP
Libya's chaos, explained in five graphics -- Bryony Jones and Anastasia Beltyukova, CNN
No Olympic Truce in Brazil -- Mac Margolis, Bloomberg
Political Hacking May Prompt U.S. to Aid Election Security -- Chris Strohm, Bloomberg
Drugs, greed, disease and why everything stinks to high heaven about these Olympics (not just the toxic waters) -- Katie Hopkins, Daily Mail
Nobody wants to host the Olympic Games anymore. Can you blame them? -- David Goldblatt, Quartz
The Olympics Are Going to Be a Disaster. But We Say That Every Time. -- Edwin Rios, Mother Jones