Right-Wing Lie Obama Gave Iran Billions

Talk about Iran around a Trump supporter and they will undoubtedly bringing up Barack Obama secretly flying crates of cash to Iran in the middle of the night as a ransom payment.

Thing is, it’s a lie.

Yes the Obama administration gave Iran $1.7 billion dollars. Yes Iran freed four prisoners on the same day. But the Trump supporter is lying the two are connected or it was a secret.

It’s okay it’s not their fault. Republican media in their attempt to create an alternative reality has told them this lie again:

U.S. Sent Cash to Iran as Americans Were Freed

and again, and again, and again.


In short

That $1.7 billion was Iranian assets frozen by sanctions in the 1980’s and returned after we lost in arbitration in international court. The transfer of the money was publicly announced months before any prisoner swap.

A longer explanation

In 1979, Iran’s then-monarch Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi paid $400 million to the United States government to purchase military parts. But that year’s revolution toppled the American-back Shah, the military parts were never delivered, and we kept the money.

To regain its funds, Iran filed a claim against the United States in 1981 in the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, which adjudicates disputes between the two nations. The body, located at the Hague, was established amid negotiations to end the 1979-81 Iran hostage crisis, in which pro-revolution students took over the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

The US-Iran Tribunal at The Hague on July, 2, 2014 awarded Iran victory in the case.

On January 17, 2016 both Iran and the United States came to terms on a dollar amount settlement. Take note, “Iran will receive the balance of $400 million.”

On the same day the President Obama made a statement regarding the settlement, “Since 1981, after our nations severed diplomatic relations, we’ve worked through a international tribunal to resolve various claims between our countries. The United States and Iran are now settling a longstanding Iranian government claim against the United States government. Iran will be returned its own funds, including appropriate interest, but much less than the amount Iran sought. “

On May 9th, 2016 remaining smaller claims were settled at the Tribunal at the Hague.

With interest on the $400 million dollars over 30 years, that came out to $1.7 billion dollars, which the Obama administration actually got a deal on if they had not settled.

Again all of this has a paper trail, it was open and available at the time, and it all happened and was settled before the hostages were freed.

Was there any connection?

Yes. The ransom payment was used as leverage for a few hours to ensure Iran did release our prisoners on time.

That is nowhere near a scandal or the claims were made by conservative news.


What you could do is chalk this up to bad optics on the Obama Administration part, but I would rather point out the dishonesty in the Republican media to falsely conflate the two.

Fox News Falsey Claims Obama Comitted an Election Felony

Fox News creates an alternative reality for their viewers by ignoring key facts, withholding context, and making stuff up.

Fox’s latest excuse for Trump’s multiple felonies is falsely claiming Obama did it too by suggesting Obama hid $2 million dollars during the 2008 campaign, and that is much worse than only the $300,000 dollar payments Michael Cohen hid to pay off Trump’s mistresses.

One problem… Obama never hid payments. Fox News is lying to their viewers.

An FEC audit concluded in 2012 found that out of the billion dollars of donations to the Obama 2008 campaign, the Obama team failed to give the *names*, not the money, of some of the donors totaling $1.8 million dollars within the required 48 hour time limit.

(See: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-campaign-money-idUSBRE83I1ID20120419)

Those donor names were simply late, no one controversial was on that list, and while the FEC found it to be nothing more than an infraction, it still levied the largest campaign fine ever against Obama and the DNC.

Compare this with Donald Trump directing his “fixer” Michael Cohen to create fake shell companies to hide illegal hush money payments just days before the 2016 election to avoid a negative impact on his campaign for president.

Trump’s own Department of Justice considers this a felony.