Republicans have been bringing up the "Obama administration paid ransom to Iran" lie a lot in the last two weeks, and I've wondered what the next step is.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says his Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was responsible for negotiations that led to a $400 million U.S. payment to Iran. Reacting to a Wall Street Journal story published Wednesday that described the delivery of the cash to Tehran in January, Trump accused Clinton on Twitter of having opened talks to give Iran the money.
Trump expanded on his remarks later, saying the money was a ransom payment for four Americans detained in Iran, that Iran released a video of the cash being unloaded from a plane in Tehran and that Iran only released a group of U.S. sailors it had captured in the Persian Gulf because it was about to be paid. These claims range from the incorrect to the unsupported.
TRUMP, in a tweet Wednesday: "Our incompetent Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was the one who started talks to give 400 million dollars, in cash, to Iran. Scandal!"
THE FACTS: Trump is wrong about Clinton's involvement. The $400 million payment - plus $1.3 billion in interest to be paid later - is a separate issue from the Iran nuclear deal that Clinton initiated. The process that resulted in the payout started decades before she became secretary of state.
This was all made public as part of the Iran nuclear deal negotiations last year. So again, why are Republicans bringing it up now and so obviously lying about Clinton somehow being in charge of the State Department in 1979? Why are Republicans so desparate to tie Clinton to Iranian "wrongdoing"?
Here's the answer to your question.
An Iranian scientist accused of providing information on his country's nuclear program to the United States has been executed for treason, an Iranian judiciary spokesman said Sunday.
Shahram Amiri was charged with spying for enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, spokesman Gholamhosein Mohseni-Ejei said in his weekly news conference, the Iranian Student News Agency reported.
"Amiri had access to confidential military secrets and was connected to our No. 1 enemy, the Great Satan,” Mohseni-Ejei said. "He was sentenced to death in primary court, and the sentence was confirmed by Supreme Court" after Amiri appealed.
Mohseni-Ejei said U.S. officials had been unaware that Iran was monitoring Amiri's efforts for the West.
"The CIA thought that its movements were kept away from the eye of Iranian Intelligence Ministry," Mohseni-Ejei said. "They took Amiri to Saudi Arabia."
Amiri, 38, disappeared while on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in 2009. He re-emerged a year later in the U.S., claiming in a video that he had been abducted, interrogated, tortured and offered millions in bribes while under "intense psychological pressure" by the CIA. He said he rejected the U.S. effort to break him.
The U.S. said in 2010 that Amiri had defected voluntarily and was paid millions of dollars for providing "useful information."
The Iranian regime executing scientists as "Western spies" is nothing new. What's new is Republicans blaming Clinton for it.
An Iranian nuclear scientist has been hanged for treason for providing secrets to the US, Tehran has confirmed, less than a year after emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server were released apparently referencing Shahram Amiri as “our friend.”
Amiri had once claimed to be abducted by the CIA, but emails on the Clinton email server released last summer seemed to have confirmed what US officials had been saying at the time: Amiri helped the United States learn about Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities but then had second thoughts.
Amiri went missing in 2009 after going on religious pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. He emerged in the United States in 2010 and eventually had gone to Iran’s special interest section at the Pakistan embassy seeking help to get back Iran.
In one email exchange dated in July 2010, Clinton’s lead foreign affairs advisor, Jake Sullivan, flagged Clinton to unwanted media attention regarding Amiri’s desire to go back.
“The gentleman you have talked to Bill Burns about has apparently gone to his country’s interests section because he is unhappy with how much time it has taken to facilitate his departure,” Sullivan wrote. “This could lead to problematic news stories in the next 24 hours. Will keep you posted.”
A day after the email exchange, Clinton made a public statement July 13, 2010, that Amiri was under no pressure. “He’s free to go. He was free to come. Those decisions are his alone to make.”
The emails were part of some 30,000 released by the State Department.
In other words, the Republicans are dead sure that they've got Clinton cold here. You know, just like Benghazi!