Not ransom? State Department admits $400 million given to Iran after hostages’ release

In a move that probably surprises no one, the State Department admitted that the U.S. paid Iran $400 million cash once the four American hostages were released.

This comes two weeks after President Obama insisted the U.S. did not pay Iran a “ransom” to secure the release of the Americans.

At a press briefing on Thursday, reporters grilled State Department spokesman John Kirby.

“In basic English, you’re saying you wouldn’t give them $400 million in cash until the prisoners were released, correct?” one asked.

“That’s correct,” Kirby responded.

The administration had repeatedly denied the timing of airlifting the cash to Iran at the time of the hostages’ release was anything but a coincidence.

“We do not pay ransom. We didn’t here, and we won’t in the future,” the president said at an Aug. 4 press conference.

“It wasn’t a secret. We were completely open with everybody about it and it is interesting to me how suddenly this became a story again,” he said, seeming to wag a finger at the press for daring to question the obvious.

Kirby insisted Thursday that the “the two negotiations were separate,” maintaining that the cash was part of an arms deal with Iran from 1979. Kirby’s comments followed a report Wednesday that U.S. officials held a cargo plane carrying the cash until the hostages were actually freed.

Despite the denials, the incident had all the markings of a ransom payment and many thought the administration should just come clean. Fox News’ Brit Hume was among those calling for an end to the masquerade.

Hume didn’t see any way around calling the exchange anything but a ransom.

Others on social media appeared to agree.

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Frieda Powers

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