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Obama White House Admits: The $400 Million to Iran Was a Ransom Payment

Well…. kind of.

The Obama White House tried to deny allegations that the $400 million payment to Iran during the release of American hostages was a ransom payment. They called it a “coincidence.” They insisted the payment was the diplomatic result of a longtime dispute between the U.S. and Iran.

Now, the White House is finally admitting the $400 million payment was contingent on the release of the U.S. hostages. Conventional wisdom would call this a ransom payment. 

Fox News reports:

The Obama administration admitted Thursday that a $400 million cash payment to Iran in January was contingent on the release of American prisoners being held in the country – while still denying that the payment was a ransom. State Department spokesman John Kirby said that the negotiations to return the money – originally from a 1979 failed military equipment deal made between Iran and the U.S. – were conducted separately from negotiations to free the four prisoners.

The four detainees who were released on January 17 were Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian; former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati; Christian pastor Saeed Abedini and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, whose case had not been publicized before the release. However, Kirby said that the U.S. withheld the cash delivery until Iran made good on its promise to release the prisoners.

“In basic English you are saying you wouldn’t give [Iran] the 400 million in cash until the prisoners were released, correct?” asked a reporter at Thursday’s State Department briefing.

“That’s correct,” Kirby responded.

The White House can call it whatever it wants, but the reality is: If it looks like a ransom payment, and walks like a ransom payment….. it’s probably a ransom payment.

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with CloutHub.com, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a BlazeTV.com host, Outreach Director with FreedomWorks.org overseeing its Empower.org outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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