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.
Our incompetent Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was the one who started talks to give 400 million dollars, in cash, to Iran. Scandal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2016
(h/t Washington Post)
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.)