Omri Ceren, the Managing Director for Press and Strategy at The Israel Project (TIP), reported on Thursday the $1.7 billion paid to the Iranian regime during the release of US hostages directly boosted the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s most powerful security and military organization.
On Jan 16 Iranian and then U.S. sources revealed Iran had released four of the American hostages it had been holding [a]. At the same time the U.S. transferred $1.7b to Iran, released 7 Iranians jailed for illicit activities, dropped charges against another 14 who were being pursued, and made additional concessions that journalists subsequently revealed.
The White House declared the swaps were diplomatic victories that boosted American security and Secretary Kerry praised Iranian FM Zarif for assisting in the diplomacy [b][c].
But there were immediate indications that some parts of the deal – though not necessarily the $1.7b transfer – boosted Iran’s military. Bloomberg View reported that two of the Iranians let off the hook had been targeted for helping the Iranian military boost Syrian dictator Assad [d]. Reuters reported that President Obama commuted the sentence of an Iranian national linked to Iran’s missile program and dropped a $10 million U.S. claim against him [e]. Weekly Standard reporter Lee Smith emphasized that the administration had paid off American victims of Iranian aggression and terrorism who had claims against Tehran [f].