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Paparock 09-08-2016 03:26 PM

Obama Administration Iranian Cash Money Laundering
Obama’s Iranian Cash Laundromat
I was wrong! President Obama's and his administration’s incomprehensible handling of Iran was not clueless, overconfident, and counterproductive. It was deliberate.
By Rachel Ehrenfeld

I was wrong! In early 2013, my article “The American Babe In The Iranian Wood,” ( noted, “President Obama and his administration’s incomprehensible handling of Iran, as clueless, overconfident and counterproductive; not a good recipe for dealing with a sophisticated and determined adversary.”

As it turned out, and as every new expose of yet another secret deal shows, President Obama was anything but a clueless Babe. The President who initiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (, aka The Iran Deal, is a sophisticated politician who deliberately and elaborately misled the American people about his concessions to the mullahs, accommodating their nuclear agenda and giving them some $150 billions, purportedly to help strengthen their economy. All the while acknowledging that “some” of that money will pay for the regime’s military expansion and even to fund their terrorist activities. Why was the U.S. President so keen on building up his nation’s sworn enemy’s nuclear capabilities? What was his motive in empowering the mullahs and fueling Iran’s intervention in and destabilization of the Middle East and beyond?

Also, where were the United States’ partners to the Iran Deal? The United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China -- plus Germany, and the European Union (EU) participated in the negotiations and signed on. Why?

While the prospect of opening the Iranian market to business was tempting, why would any country, especially with geographic proximity to Iran, be interested in facilitating the belligerent Islamic Republic’s development of nuclear weapons? Has greed overcome existential fear? Or perhaps by the time the deal was announced Iran’s uranium enrichment program was close to or already a fait accompli. In that case, why not partake in the Obama administration’s magic show and reap real profits afterward? Perhaps this can explain why most of the murky details were not leaked.

In the years leading up to the agreement, the President never failed to threaten the tightening of sanctions on Iran. But at least since early 2013, Iran has received billions of dollars in sanctions relief as incentives to attend negotiations with the United States and others in Geneva; this despite the fact that from March 2012, until January 2016, when the U.S. lifted the sanctions, Iranian banks had no access to the Belgium-based SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) system. So how did the regime access the billions of dollars it was given? Were those payments also sent in bundled cash of non-U.S. currencies on chartered flights, under cover of darkness, as the administration’s $400 million ransom?

The President not only denied the cash ransom delivery to Iran, but went on to claim: “The reason that we had to give the cash is precisely because we were so strict in maintaining sanctions, and we do not have a banking relationship with Iran that we couldn’t send them a check and we could not wire the money.” Thus it was not surprising to hear that additional $1.3 billion in settlement ( were sent in a similar manner to Iran.

The news nixed the provisions of a new congressional Republicans’ bill to stop further settlement payments. And for PR purposes, the proposed bill also demands that Iran “returns the $1.7 billion to the U.S. and pays the American terrorism victims.” Surely no one expects that to happen.

Take for example the payments paid by the Administration to Iran for transferring goods to and from Afghanistan through the Iranian Persian Gulf port of Bandar Abbas, since early 2013. That’s when the Administration decided to ignore the sanctions and instead of shipping the goods through Pakistan, it chose the Iranian port. This became such a lucrative business that Iran has opened another port on the Gulf of Oman at Chabahar to further facilitate transshipment through Iran. How did Iran access the U.S. payments?

Soon after the Iran deal was announced, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s began complaining that Iran’s banks had difficulties accessing international markets because some sanctions were not lifted - due to its sponsorship of international terrorism. In response, the Obama Administration publicly chose to circumvent U.S. the sanctions and its anti-money laundering laws to help Iran’s access to the international banking system.

The U.S. has strict federal Anti-Money Laundering laws, requiring “banks and certain other financial institutions, which tend to have extra-territorial effect, through requirements for US banks to control their relationships with correspondent and shell banks ( to prevent money laundering.” Nonetheless, the Administration publicly suggested allowing Iran “access to U.S. dollars through offshore clearinghouses.” Was this a new arrangement or the first the public heard about such an arrangement?

What we already know is enough to cause major concerns. But will we ever find out how much money was Iran given? Probably not. We only hope to not find out the hard way what it was given for.

Paparock 10-28-2016 09:40 PM

Loretta Lynch 'Pleads Fifth' on Secret Iran 'Ransom' Payments
Attorney General Lynch ‘Pleads Fifth’ on Secret Iran ‘Ransom’ Payments
Obama Admin Blocking Congressional Probe Into Cash Payments To Iran
BY: Adam Kredo

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is declining to comply with an investigation by leading members of Congress about the Obama administration’s secret efforts to send Iran $1.7 billion in cash earlier this year, prompting accusations that Lynch has “pleaded the Fifth” Amendment to avoid incriminating herself over these payments, according to lawmakers and communications exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) initially presented Lynch in October with a series of questions about how the cash payment to Iran was approved and delivered.

In an Oct. 24 response (, Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik responded on Lynch’s behalf, refusing to answer the questions and informing the lawmakers that they are barred from publicly disclosing any details about the cash payment, which was bound up in a ransom deal aimed at freeing several American hostages from Iran.

The response from the attorney general’s office is “unacceptable” and provides evidence that Lynch has chosen to “essentially plead the fifth and refuse to respond to inquiries regarding [her] role in providing cash to the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism,” Rubio and Pompeo wrote on Friday in a follow-up letter to Lynch, according to a copy ( obtained by the Free Beacon.

The inquiry launched by the lawmakers is just one of several concurrent ongoing congressional probes aimed at unearthing a full accounting of the administration’s secret negotiations with Iran.

“It is frankly unacceptable that your department refuses to answer straightforward questions from the people’s elected representatives in Congress about an important national security issue,” the lawmakers wrote. “Your staff failed to address any of our questions, and instead provided a copy of public testimony and a lecture about the sensitivity of information associated with this issue.”

“As the United States’ chief law enforcement officer, it is outrageous that you would essentially plead the fifth and refuse to respond to inquiries,” they stated. “The actions of your department come at time when Iran continues to hold Americans hostage and unjustly sentence them to prison.”

The lawmakers included a copy of their previous 13 questions and are requesting that Lynch provide answers by Nov. 4.

When asked about Lynch’s efforts to avoid answering questions about the cash payment, Pompeo told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration has blocked Congress at every turn as lawmakers attempt to investigate the payments to Iran.

“Who knew that simple questions regarding Attorney General Lynch’s approval of billions of dollars in payments to Iran could be so controversial that she would refuse to answer them?” Pompeo said. “This has become the Obama administration’s coping mechanism for anything related to the Islamic Republic of Iran—hide information, obfuscate details, and deny answers to Congress and the American people.”

“They know this isn’t a sustainable strategy, however, and I trust they will start to take their professional, and moral, obligations seriously,” the lawmaker added.

In the Oct. 24 letter to Rubio and Pompeo, Assistant Attorney General Kadzik warned the lawmakers against disclosing to the public any information about the cash payment.

Details about the deal are unclassified, but are being kept under lock and key in a secure facility on Capitol Hill, the Free Beacon first disclosed ( Lawmakers and staffers who have clearance to view the documents are forced to relinquish their cellular devices and are barred from taking any notes about what they see.

“Please note that these documents contain sensitive information that is not appropriate for public release,” Kadzik wrote to the lawmakers. “Disclosure of this information beyond members of the House and Senate and staff who are able to view them could adversely affect the diplomatic relations of the United States, including with key allies, as well as the State Department’s ability to defend [legal] claims against the United States [by Iran] that are still being litigated at the Hague Tribunal.”

“The public release of any portion of these documents, or the information contained therein, is not authorized by the transmittal of these documents or by this communication,” Kadzik wrote.

Congressional sources have told the Free Beacon that this is another part of the effort to hide details about these secret negotiations with Iran from the American public.

One senior congressional source familiar with both the secret documents and the inquiry into them told the Free Beacon that the details of the negotiations are so damning that the administration’s best strategy is to ignore lawmakers’ requests for more information.

“Every Obama administration official and department involved in the Iran Deal appear to be running for cover,” the source said. “Like we feared, the [Iran deal] is turning out to be a disaster and Iran is emboldened in its aggression. Evidently Attorney General Lynch and the Department of Justice have decided ‘refusal to cooperate’ is their best strategy. But this is dangerous and ultimately won’t protect them from anything.”

Paparock 11-02-2016 06:02 PM

Obama's Ransom Payment To Iran Just The Tip Of The Iceberg
In his bid to pursue a legacy, Obama charts disastrous course with reckless abandon.
By Ari Lieberman

Most of us, including several democratic lawmakers, cringed when Obama inked the Iran deal but those of us who are familiar with the malevolent nature of the Iranian regime, recoiled in horror when we learned that Obama transferred $400 million to the Iranians in exchange for four American citizens held captive by the mullahs on trumped up charges. The $400 million was part of a larger installment totaling $1.7 billion, ostensibly to settle claims Iran had against the United States stemming from aborted Iranian arms purchases dating back to the Shah. Obama claimed that this was money that was “owed” to Iran and the settlement, which included $1.3 billion in interest, saved the U.S. taxpayer “billions” because the Iranians were demanding even more at the Hague tribunal, where the claim was being adjudicated.

The timing and method of the cash transfers were disquieting to say the least and raised serious questions of legality as well as broader geo-political concerns. The Americans were freed only after Iran received its $400 million. The payment, which was airlifted in the dead of night in an unmarked cargo plane, was made in untraceable cash, stacked on wooden pallets. The Iranians demanded Swiss Francs and Euros rather than Dollars and a pliant Obama agreed to the Islamic Republic’s dictates. Gleeful Iranian leaders were quick to announce victory and claimed that the payment was indeed a ransom, contradicting the administration’s adamant denials.

Even within the administration there was confusion about whether the payment was in fact a ransom. State Department spokesman Mark Toner came very close to acknowledging this fact when he noted that the $400 million was used as “leverage” to ensure the Americans’ safe return. The White House however, quickly repudiated the State Department’s characterization.

Even if one were to believe the story peddled by the administration, the mere appearance of a quid pro quo payment potentially exposes the U.S. to extortion and hostage-taking. The Iranians certainly believed it was a ransom payment and more likely than not, every two-bit dictator on the planet saw it that way as well.

But there are deeper more troubling aspects to this convoluted story. In his January 17, 2016 address to the American people, Obama tried to put a positive spin on his dealings with the Islamic Republic but as noted by Rick Richman ( in an excellent article featured in Mosaic, the deal struck with the Iranians was rotten to its core and the administration deliberately kept the American people in the dark about various aspects of the shady arrangement.

The $400 million that the U.S. transferred to Iran came from Iran’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) account with the Pentagon. The balance of 1.3 billion ostensibly represented interest accrued since 1979. But Obama neglected to note that when Iran filed its lawsuit, the U.S. filed counterclaim against Iran for $817 million for Iranian breaches of its obligations under the FMS program. The U.S. could have conceivably won that counterclaim which would have meant wooden pallets of cash for the American treasury, courtesy of the Islamic Republic.

Moreover, American plaintiffs maintained sixteen U.S. court judgments against the Islamic Republic stemming from that regime’s involvement in terrorist activities. Those judgments totaled $3.9 billion in compensatory and punitive damages.

Some plaintiffs sought to recover their Judgments directly from Iran’s FMS account but their efforts were stymied by the Clinton administration. Instead, under a convoluted deal struck between Congress and the Clinton administration in 2,000, the U.S. treasury was to pay the holders of the judgments against Iran for the amount of their compensatory damages and 10 percent of their punitive damages up to the amount in the FMS fund. The judgments would then be subrogated to the United States, which meant that judgments became direct U.S claims against the Iranian government.

Iran ignored the Judgments and never paid any of the plaintiffs. Under U.S. law, the $400 million sitting in the FMS account should have gone back to the U.S. treasury, which had already paid the judgment holders. But the U.S. treasury never collected a dime on the subrogated claims since Obama shipped the money off on wooden pallets to Iran. Essentially, the U.S. taxpayer ended up footing the bill for Iran’s terrorism while the Iranians were never held accountable for their maleficence.

Obama’s actions represented blatant disregard for the law, for the victims of terrorism and for the American taxpayer. His claim of saving the taxpayer “billions” represents the zenith of mendacity.

Obama claimed that the payments had to be made in cash because existing sanctions prohibited normal banking procedures. But as noted by Richman, the sanctions regimen expressly permits payments made to settle Iranian claims instituted at The Hague, exposing yet another lie by the Obama administration.

There was one, and only one reason why the Iranians requested cash and all but the most disingenuous know what that reason is. The Iranians are the world’s foremost state-sponsors of international terrorism. They finance terrorist groups and proxy militias throughout the region and internationally but can only do so through illicit means that circumvent normal methods of financing. Hence, they demanded untraceable cash. The misery that we are currently witnessing in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere is due in no small part to the Obama administration which provided the Iranians with the cash necessary to keep operations flowing.

In addition to the $1.7 billion in cash, Obama also authorized the release of seven convicted Iranian felons and expunged warrants on 14 others. But this aspect of the transaction seems almost trivial when considering the sheer mendacity and illegality of nearly every other aspect of the deal.

Lastly, the transfer of such a large sum to Iran in “settlement” of an alleged legal claim required the attorney general’s approval but the administration has yet to produce any document bearing Loretta Lynch’s signature authorizing such payment. On October 7, Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) presented Lynch with a series of questions ( seeking clarification of various aspects of the deal. Lynch, whose tenure as attorney general is proving to be as corrupt and partisan as her predecessor, has inexplicably refused ( to answer the lawmakers’ queries.

In a desperate attempt to establish a legacy, Obama pursued the Iran deal with reckless abandon, forfeiting positions previously regarded as red lines and signing the worst deal in U.S. diplomatic history. The ancillary deal struck with the Iranians concerning American hostages was laced with outright lies and enabled the Iranians to continue their reign or regional terror. More importantly, it may also have been in violation of existing U.S. law and Lynch’s stonewalling only lends credence to that notion.

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