Biden’s Billion-Dollar Bargain: US Hostages in Iran Freed in Controversial Cash-for-Captives Deal!

President Biden reached a deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran to free five imprisoned United States citizens in exchange for freeing convicted Iranian criminals and unfreezing nearly $6 billion of Iran’s oil revenue locked up due to sanctions. 

“Bogus Spying Charges”

The US government said all five American prisoners were wrongfully detained on “bogus spying charges.” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said the US received confirmation that Iran released the five prisoners and placed them on house arrest.

Watson stated, “While this is an encouraging step, these US citizens should have never been detained in the first place.”

The White House National Security Council statement said, “We will not rest until they are all back home in the United States.”

It was also noted that the transfer of the five US citizens from prison to house arrest was a significant initial step in implementing the agreement.

$10 Billion Would Be Released

The official Islamic Republic News Agency said that under the agreement, $10 billion would be released from accounts in South Korea and Iraq.

The five American prisoners won’t be permitted to leave Iran until the funds become available in Iranian accounts in Qatar.

Iranian officials have been trying to find a way to access billions of dollars held in Iraq for deliveries of gas and oil, as well as $7 billion in Iranian funds held in South Korea after the Trump administration tightened sanctions on the country’s oil exports.

Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, said he is “thrilled” that this day has arrived, and he “won’t breathe easy” until the prisoners return home.

“Unfreezing $6 Billion in Iranian Assets Dangerously Further Incentivizes Hostage-Taking and Provides a Windfall for Regime Aggression.”

Not everyone shares the same sentiments as Murphy. Senator Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, warned that such machinations set a bad precedent.

Risch said he would welcome the wrongfully detained Americans home, but “unfreezing $6 billion in Iranian assets dangerously further incentivizes hostage-taking and provides a windfall for regime aggression.”

Risch said the Biden Administration needs to punish countries that use Americans as political pawns to stop this practice.

During Barack Obama’s presidency, the US negotiated releasing five detained Americans; at the same time $400 million in cash was sent to Iran for a decades-old military sales legal dispute.

Biden’s Deal – A “Ransom” and a “Craven Act of Appeasement”

Because the prisoners were released at the same time the $400 million was sent to Iran, Republicans deemed it a ransom situation and predicted it would lead Iran to imprison more Americans.

The capital of Iran, Tehran, has not stopped this practice in the years since.

The Trump administration brought home two Americans held in Iran through prisoner exchanges. However, Trump’s deal did not involve transferring funds to Iran, so the deal didn’t see much criticism.

Another Republican, Senator Tom Cotton, called Biden’s deal with Iran a “ransom” and a “craven act of appeasement.”

“Attack Our Troops, Fund Terrorism, and Arm Russia”

His concern is what Iran would spend the millions of dollars on, saying the funds would likely be used to “attack our troops, fund terrorism, and arm Russia.”

Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence also criticized the agreement Biden reached with Iran. He is concerned that Iran will use the money to “produce drones for Russia and fund terrorism against the US and Israel.”

He also referred to the American hostages being held in China and Russia. Those countries are watching this deal and “now know the price has just gone up.”

Siamak Namazi is one of the five American prisoners being held in Iran. He was on a business trip in October of 2015 when he was arrested for “cooperating with a hostile government.”

Inside Iranian Prisons

Morad Tahbaz is another one of the American prisoners. This businessman and environmentalist was arrested in Iran in January of 2018. He was sentenced to ten years in prison after being convicted of spying.

Emad Shargi, an Iranian-American businessman, was also arrested in Iran in 2018. He was sentenced, without a trial, to ten years in prison for espionage.

The other two Americans who have been held in an Iranian prison, including one woman, have asked that their identities remain private. Namazi’s family received direct visual confirmation that Namazi, Tahbaz, and Shargi had been freed from the Iranian prison.

The Biden Administration Wanted To Avoid Moving the Negotiations With Iran to the Top of the Political Agenda

As the presidential election approaches, the Biden administration wanted to avoid moving the negotiations with Iran to the top of the political agenda.

However, the administration also noted the potential for talks to fail. The US has repeatedly called out and penalized Iran for assisting Russia in the war in Ukraine.

Nikki Haley Says Biden Should Quit with All the Chaos, like the Gender Pronoun Classes and Focus on the Ammunition Crisis

They Formed a Union, Went on Strike and Shut Down the Company Until They Got the Pay Rise They Wanted

The post Biden’s Billion-Dollar Bargain: US Hostages in Iran Freed in Controversial Cash-for-Captives Deal! first appeared on The Net Worth Of.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Perry McLeod. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

Source: Fox News