US says $400M payment was contingent on release of prisoners

The U.S. State Department said Thursday that the $400 million cash payment to Iran was contingent on the release of American prisoners. After the freed Americans were "wheels up" January 17, Iranian officials could take control of the money in Geneva, according to officials.

The administration says the US owed Iran the money from a failed arms deal from the 1970s.

Obama said during a press conference earlier this month that the payment had to be in cash because the USA does not "have a banking relationship with Iran". The exchange was later revealed to have been a year in the making, despite claims by administration officials that the subject of a prisoner release was never broached during nuclear-related negotiations.

New reports suggest that the United States did time its $400 million payment to Iran with the release of American prisoners.

But critics contend the timing of the deal was questionable.

According to Obama, the payment had to be made in cash as the United States and Iran do not have a banking relationship.

"This wasn't some nefarious deal", Obama said during an August 4 press conference.

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It would be recalled that the transfer took place on the same day several American detainees were freed from the Islamic nation - further fueling the notion that it could be a ransom payment.

Noses at the White House are growing longer by the deay as new revelations about the ransom paid for our hostages come to light.

"With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well", was all Obama said on January 17.

That question among many others is what U.S. Rep Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., wants to ask the U.S. Treasury Department, and he says he's not going to back down until all is known.

The House Financial Services Committee hasn't yet decided whether to hold hearings.

What actually happened, according to the AP and others, is that President Barack Obama used the $400 million payment that had already been negotiated as a bargaining chip to ensure the Americans were released quickly and released unharmed.

USA officials have refused to disclose how the Obama administration made this additional payment.

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