In an announcement that surprised no one, the Obama administration today admitted that the $400 million payment to Iran was indeed a ransom.
According to Politico:
“Republicans are claiming vindication after the State Department confirmed on Thursday that the United States conditioned the release of a $400 million cash payment to Iran on the departure of American prisoners from Tehran.
At a Thursday press briefing, State Department spokesman John Kirby addressed questions about a Wall Street Journal report by explaining that the U.S. held on to the $400 million cash payment until American prisoners were on a plane and safely away from Iran to “retain maximum leverage.” Kirby said the arrangement did not in any way constitute a ransom payment, as President Barack Obama’s Republican critics have alleged.
“We deliberately leveraged that moment to finalize these outstanding issues nearly simultaneously,” he said.”