President Obama delayed new ballistic missile sanctions on Iran while pardoning 21 Iranian prisoners jailed for breaching major U.S. sanctions on nuclear advancement and development in order to secure the release of five American prisoners in Iran, the Free Beacon reported.
After over a year of “secret talks” between Iran and White House officials over the release of U.S. prisoners in Tehran, the president confirmed that new nuclear missile sanctions would be delayed from being put into effect because of the precarious negotiations surrounding the release of American civilians:
The administration decided to delay the sanctions not because of Iranian complaints, but because of “this sensitivity around making sure we’re not compromising our efforts to get the Americans out,” the official said.
Iranian officials further confirmed that they had threatened to walk away from prisoner talks if new sanctions were implemented.
The move to postpone new sanctions incited a back-lash from Capital Hill, which blamed the administration for appeasing to Iranian demands.
Read the full story by Free Beacon and the profiles of the pardoned offenders here.