Money paid to Iran was ‘leverage’ not ransom, State Department says

August 18, 2016 10:04 PM

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The State Department acknowledged Thursday that it delayed releasing a $400 million cash payment to Iran in January until it was assured that a plane carrying three released American prisoners had left Tehran.

State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters that negotiators had “deliberately leveraged” Iran’s desire to get its money from a decades-old arms deal to make sure the authorities there would not renege on freeing three Americans. They were flown out Jan. 16, the same day the nuclear agreeme...

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