Trump’s False Claim That Clinton ‘Started the Talks’ to Give $400 Million to Iran

The GOP presidential nominee jumped on an interesting report in the Wall Street Journal that the Obama administration shipped $400 million in cash to Iran at about the same time that four Americans being held in Iran were released after negotiations.

(h/t Washington Post)

Reality

Trump is simply wrong that Clinton started the talks that led to the release of $400 million to Iran. She initiated the talks on Iran’s nuclear program, but that’s as far as her involvement goes. Iran’s claim for the $400 million was made long before Clinton took office — and was resolved after she left.

Clinton stepped down as secretary of state in early 2013. The deal involving the American detainees — including The Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian — was announced in January this year, three years after the end of her tenure. Clinton did initiate negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program — though substantial talks with Iran did not take place until after she left.

But Clinton had nothing to do with talks on the detainees. Those occurred on a separate track, which U.S. officials said was necessary to not raise the price to reach an agreement on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The $400 million payment — part of an overall $1.7 billion settlement of claims — was also announced by the State Department on Jan. 17, the same day that President Obama announced the release of the detainees. (He also made reference to a settlement of claims without mentioning a dollar figure.)

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