Press Secretary of the President of the USA Josh Ernest spoke about the purpose of dispatch to Tehran of $400 million in cash in January 2016. He rejected the suspicion that this money was the ransom for the release by Iran of four Americans.
“The United States under President Obama have never paid a ransom to secure the release of unjustly detained in Iran Americans. We will not pay ransoms in the future,” earnest said at a briefing in the White house.
At the same time he explained that by the time we made a strategic decision to conclude a nuclear deal with Iran and for its realization it was necessary to resolve long-standing conflicts.
The money paid was part of a long-standing dispute. The last Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, before the Islamic revolution of 1979 has paid to acquire from US a large batch of weapons. However, after the revolution, the monarch fled, came to power the Islamists, and the weapons were never delivered to Iran, and money the Americans have not returned. Iran appealed to the court in the Hague.
It was about $400 million, which during this time was assessed $1.3 billion in interest, all within the framework of this dispute, the U.S. had to return to Iran $1.7 billion of Funds were frozen because of the sanctions that were imposed on Iran. Ernest explained that the money was paid in cash, since at that time the sanctions were in force and transfer them to Iran some other way was impossible.
3 August 2016 secretly send cash to Tehran wrote to the newspaper the Wall Street Journal. The publication notes that some time after receiving the money, the Iranian authorities released the four prisoners in the country of Americans, including journalist of The Washington Post Jason Resolana. All were released with dual Iranian-American citizenship. The Americans, in turn, released from prison seven Iranians.
The newspaper wrote that the deal raised questions, after which the American media, a wave of publications about ransom who allegedly paid the Obama administration for the release of hostages. When Tehran agreed to release the Americans, Barack Obama said that “it’s time to complete another dispute”, but did not say a word about the fact that Iran has paid $400 million.
According to the newspaper, wooden pallets, which were shipped Euro, Swiss franc and another currency, was placed in a transport aircraft without any markings.