Iran Says It Will Not Renegotiate Nuclear Deal

Iran will not renegotiate its nuclear agreement with world powers, even if it faces new U.S. sanctions after Donald Trump becomes president, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Sunday.

Trump, who will take office on Friday, has threatened to either scrap the agreement, which curbs Iran’s nuclear program and lifts sanctions against it, or seek a better deal.

“There will be no renegotiation and the (agreement) will not be reopened,” said Araqchi, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator at the talks that led to the agreement in 2015, quoted by the state news agency IRNA.

“We and many analysts believe that the (agreement) is consolidated. The new U.S. administration will not be able to abandon it,” Araqchi told a news conference in Tehran, held a year after the deal took effect.

“Nuclear talks with America are over and we have nothing else to discuss,” he added. (Read more from “Iran Says It Will Not Renegotiate Nuclear Deal” HERE)

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Sudan: Trump’s Iran Hostage Moment

Right now, before he takes office, President-elect Trump can do more than Barack Obama accomplished in eight years, and send a message to radical Islamists around the world that “America is back.” Here’s how:

The Republic of Sudan has been dominated by a brutal, autocratic regime since 1989. The ruling National Congress Party (NCP), which was formally called the “National Islamic Front,” is led by President Omar al Bashir, the only sitting president under indictment by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Unpunished Author of Anti-Christian Genocide

Bashir’s human rights track record is abysmal. Not only is he the main culprit in the 23-year genocidal war against South Sudan, which killed more than 2 million indigenous Christian and animists and displaced another 5 million from their homes. Bashir is also the architect of the infamous Darfur Genocide. More recently in 2011, Bashir has taken his brutal tactics to the contested Nuba mountain and Blue Nile regions where a total blockade, combined with an aerial terror campaign which targets civilians, is threatening 2 million more lives.

Bashir’s government is on the verge of bankruptcy, with a suffocating debt of more than $60 billion which it cannot repay. Sudan’s currency has collapsed, there are shortages everywhere, and recent “austerity measures” have led to thousands of Sudanese taking to the streets in protest. More than a half-dozen opposition political parties have called for Bashir to step aside and allow for multi-party elections.

America Can Stop Sudan’s Islamists without Firing a Shot

For Bashir to avoid a total collapse of his government, he desperately needs to “normalize” relations with the U.S. (and consequently with the international community). The U.S. has economically kept Bashir’s government at arm’s length.

In 1997, the Clinton Administration slapped Sudan with economic sanctions, which were later expanded under President George W. Bush. Following 9/11, the Bush administration played a key role in helping to facilitate the end of conflict in what is now South Sudan, and the Nuba mountains region in the north. The genocide in Darfur was largely neglected, but a young Senator from Illinois pledged to address it by ratcheting up sanctions, and putting a robust UN force on the ground to stop the killing.

That young senator was later elected president, and proceeded to do next to nothing.

Obama Abandoned Sudan’s Helpless Civilians

President Obama’s Sudan policy has been one of moral abdication and abandonment. Sudan expert Eric Reeves summed it up by saying that Obama “has offered Sudan nothing but hypocrisy and bad faith. His shame will far outlive his presidency.”

Due to America’s abdication of its critical role in pressuring Bashir to stop targeting and persecuting ethnic and religious minorities, Sudan has continued its cycle of endless internal wars, massive humanitarian crises, and destabilization of the whole region.

In the contested areas of the Nuba mountains and the Blue Nile, Bashir’s government has doubled down on its policy to Islamicize all of Sudan. Since 2011, it has blockaded Christian regions. Journalists are prohibited. The Nuba, which is home to Sudan’s largest Christian community, has especially been hit hard by ground attacks and aerial terror, which targets market places, schools, hospitals, and churches.

The brazen war crimes Bashir continues to commit have brought new charges by Amnesty International of the use of chemical weapons against civilians.

Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, sees almost daily routine abuses such as seizing newspaper runs, shutting down broadcasting networks, arbitrary arrests, tortures, detentions, mysterious disappearances and deaths.

Obama Played Footsie with Islamists

Yet the U.S. State Department continues to flirt with the NCP, softening sanctions, and publicly praising the regime for its cooperation in “sharing intelligence” to fight the war on terror. But there is very little evidence to show that Sudan has provided much more than useless “faux intelligence,” even as it continues to harbor and host many of the allies and assets of ISIS and Al Qaeda in Khartoum!

Philosophically and practically, the NCP elite is comprised of the same stripe of extreme Islamist radicals we are up against in Syria and Iraq. Sudan’s recent decision to break with Iran and pursue closer engagement with Saudi Arabia was motivated primarily by finances, netting Bashir $5 billion in military aid and another $10 billion in direct investment.

Sudan has been a hot-house, incubating extremism since its independence in 1955. The only real difference between ISIS and Bashir’s NCP regime is that Sudan has a seat at the UN. Religious persecution and the aerial terror campaign against Darfur, plus the Nuba and Blue Nile regions, were among the stated reasons for President Bush’s decision to continue sanctions against Sudan.

Christians Rotting in Sudan’s Jails

Right now, four Christians are languishing in a Sudan prison under false charges of espionage, intelligence gathering, war against the state, and several other manufactured “crimes.” At least five of the charges carry the death penalty or life imprisonment. Two of the men are Nuba pastors. One is a Darfur convert. The last is a European missionary and aid worker.

Petr Jasek has been separated from his family for one year. He was arrested a full year ago, on December 9th, 2015, while on a trip to visit with Sudanese Christians to offer medical and other humanitarian assistance. The other prisoners were apparently detained and jailed for meeting and speaking freely with Mr. Jasek about the oppression and persecutions they had experienced at the hands of their own government. Jasek spent eight months in prison before he was even brought to court, in clear violation of Sudanese law.

Another reason Sudan is targeting Jasek is for his work as a humanitarian and past affiliation with two American charities which have been active in providing humanitarian assistance to the Nuba people: Voice of the Martyrs and Persecution Project Foundation.

American Volunteers are Making a Difference

U.S. organizations and citizens have played a major role in thwarting Bashir’s effort to (in his words) “take out the garbage” in the Nuba region. The main doctor at the primary referral hospital in the Nuba is celebrated American missionary Tom Catena. The primary embedded news source in the Nuba was founded by American missionary and former Samaritan’s Purse field director Ryan Boyette, who led the effort to rebuild more than 200 Nuba churches destroyed by Bashir’s forced Islamization and Arabization policies.

All of these organizations are collectively supported by millions of Americans. While the Obama Administration has been playing diplomatic footsie with Islamists in Sudan and around the world, millions of private Americans have been confronting extremism through compassion towards its victims.

Trump Can Face Down Extremists and be a Hero

President-elect Trump has a real opportunity to bring American policy towards Islamists in line with the actions and desires of the American people, and his campaign promises to take on the forces of radical Islam.

And this worries President Bashir. Consequently, he’s turned on the charm and tried to flatter President Trump:

[W]e can deal with double-faced people, but here we have a person with a clear line … I am convinced that it will be much easier to deal with Trump than with others because he is a straightforward person.

Bashir is right that President-elect Trump is a straightforward person. And America has endured eight years of morally confused, counter-productive, and indecisive weakness in dealing with radical Islam. We desperately need a leader who can tell the good guys from the villains.

Lets hope that under a bold new Trump Administration, America will take the lead again in standing against terrorism and suppression of religious freedom and basic human rights.

America must no longer deal with Islamist bullies as the moral equivalent of normal, democratic leaders. President-elect Trump should send a firm message to President Bashir: “Thanks for the compliments. You’re right: I will draw the line. And you are on the wrong side of it. America is an ally of all those who struggle for the same basic freedoms of worship, association and expression that every American enjoys. Our friendship is with the victims of oppression, and not the perpetrators of war crimes and genocide.”

Trump should not entertain talk of “normalized relations” while Sudan continues to be led by a step-child of the Muslim Brotherhood, a man who is one of the oldest allies of international terror — who wages terror against his own people, and colludes with those who practice it abroad.

A strong message to the Sudanese government even before Trump takes office could set many prisoners free, including Mr. Jasek, and put Islamists around the world on notice that America is back.

This is Mr. Trump’s “Iran Hostage Moment” and he should seize it. (For more from the author of “Sudan: Trump’s Iran Hostage Moment” please click HERE)

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Revival in Iran: ‘You Can See What the Holy Spirit Is Doing’

The Islamic Republic of Iran is experiencing a revival of faith in a big way, said Rahman Salehsafari, a house church pastor who ministers there as well as worldwide via Skype, in a CBN News interview. The Holy Spirit’s work in Iran is evident in the large numbers of people accepting Jesus, he said.

“Right now you can see the results of the Holy Spirit. [In] 1994, there were about 100,000 believers,” he explained. “Right now, there are 3 million. You can see what the Holy Spirit is doing with the people.”

For some, the experience that drew them to Christ was nothing short of miraculous. “I had a dream a long time back and every time that Jesus was with me,” said a young man named Reza. “In all of my life He was helping me and I didn’t know who is this person. Suddenly, Jesus Christ was over there and He said, ‘Come to Me.’ Then I came to that side and He accepted me.”

Becoming a Christian was not something they took lightly — they knew they would have difficulty living out their new-found faith in their homeland.

Many of the new Christians had to flee Iran because of religious persecution and ended up in Turkey. They noticed a marked difference in the freedom to practice their faith. Afshin, an Iranian who lives in Turkey now, said the contrast is extreme. “[It’s] totally different from Iran,” he explained. “I can privilege [speak about] God’s Word to other guys. I can freely praise the Lord. I can easily go to church. It’s really completely different.”

Afshin, who attended Pastor Saeed Abedini’s church before Abedini’s 2012 arrest, said he fled Iran because it was getting progressively difficult each day to live as a Christian and he felt it was too much of a risk. Afshin said he had to leave his home because he believed the intelligence service would recognize it as a home church. Others fled in fear for their lives.

A young woman named Raizal, along with her brother Reza, fled Iran for fear they would be killed. “Even if I say ‘Jesus Christ,’ they may kill me,” she said. “They tried to kill me,” said Reza, who also had problems with his health and at his job because he was a Christian. “Then I start (sic) to run away.”

Many of the Iranian believers in Turkey hope to one day achieve refugee status and immigrate to other countries.

Even with the persecution, the threats on their lives, the uprooting and fleeing to another country and the unstable residency status, these Christians maintain their joyfulness and love of Christ. They clap and cheer as new brothers and sisters in Christ are baptized. They worship the Lord with praise songs and laughter.

Their desire now is that their brothers and sisters around the world would pray for Iran and the Church there. “I’m just begging really from other believers, from the other sisters and brothers from all over the world to pray for Iran,” said Afshin. “To all the people of Iran, to be familiar with God, with Jesus Christ.”

See the full interview here:

(For more from the author of “Revival in Iran: ‘You Can See What the Holy Spirit Is Doing'” please click HERE)

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House Passes Bill Blocking Sale of Aircraft to Iran

House Republicans voted Thursday to block the sale of aircraft to Iran, a move GOP lawmakers and some Democrats said would protect taxpayer dollars from being used to finance the export of airplanes to Tehran.

The House voted 243 to 174 to pass legislation sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., prohibiting the secretary of the Treasury from authorizing a transaction from a U.S. bank or financial institution related to the export of aircraft to Iran.

The White House said it would veto the bill, as it could be viewed as a violation of the Iran nuclear deal.

In September, the Treasury issued licenses to aviation giants Airbus and Boeing that permitted the sale of planes to Iran Air, the country’s state-owned airline. The agency also allowed U.S. banks to finance the sale of those aircraft to Tehran.

“This bill would keep Americans’ deposits away from a country that the president’s own State Department calls ‘the foremost state sponsor of terrorism,’ and which Treasury has designed as a ‘jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern,’” Huizenga said today on the House floor.

The legislation also prohibits the Export-Import Bank, or Ex-Im, from providing any assistance either directly or indirectly to Iran and associated entities, including its state-run airline.

Ex-Im provides taxpayer-backed loans and loan guarantees to foreign countries and companies for the purchase of U.S. products.

“We need to make sure that the American financial system is not complicit in this [Iran nuclear] deal,” Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., said on the House floor Thursday. “We need to make sure American taxpayers are not subsidizing this deal.”

Over the last year, Roskam has been an ardent opponent of the Iran deal and has pushed to prohibit Iran and its state-run entities from benefiting from U.S.-backed financing.

Though Ex-Im’s charter prohibits the agency from extending taxpayer-backed financing to Iran, Roskam and GOP lawmakers cautioned a loophole could allow Tehran to purchase U.S. products or services from third-party intermediaries that received funding from the 82-year-old bank.

It’s now possible for U.S. corporations to do business with Iran following the Obama administration’s historic nuclear deal with the Islamic regime. The pact, which the U.S. and five other world powers secured last year, was designed to ensure Iran doesn’t obtain a nuclear weapon in the near future.

Nearly a year after negotiations with Iran concluded, lawmakers learned that Boeing, one of Ex-Im’s biggest beneficiaries, had been engaging in ongoing discussions with government-run entities in Iran over the possible sale of aircraft to the country.

In May, Roskam and fellow Illinois Republican Reps. Robert Dold and Randy Hultgren sent the Chicago-based aerospace giant a letter urging it not to do business with Iran.

One month later, Boeing confirmed it signed a deal to sell $25 billion worth of planes to Iran Air. According to initial reports, Boeing planned to sell approximately 80 commercial airliners to Iran Air and secure the sale of another 29 planes to a third party, which would then lease the aircraft to Tehran.

The company’s deal marked the first time since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 that American aircraft were sold to Tehran.

The Obama administration previously sanctioned Iran Air after the airline used passenger and cargo planes to fly rockets and missiles to Syria and other nations. The weapons were sometimes disguised as medicine or spare parts, according to past reports.

Under the Iran nuclear deal, the Obama administration dropped economic sanctions against Tehran.

“We now have American companies who are saying, ‘You know what? Let’s do business with a terrorist regime. How’s that? Let’s just go make a buck,’” Roskam said of Boeing during his floor speech Thursday. “That’s the scandal of this. The scandal is there are American companies, international companies, Boeing, Airbus, that are now making their own names linked with terror forevermore.”

In addition to Boeing, Airbus also signed an agreement with Iran to sell the regime aircraft.

Though Boeing didn’t previously disclose whether it would seek Ex-Im financing to help fund the sale of the jets to the third party, lawmakers worried the company would attempt to secure taxpayer-backed loans and loans guarantees for the transaction.

Ex-Im, however, can’t currently approve transactions of more than $10 million because of vacant seats on its board of directors.

The five-member panel currently lacks a quorum of three members, and all transactions topping $10 million, which primarily benefit Ex-Im’s biggest beneficiaries like Boeing, have been stalled. (For more from the author of “House Passes Bill Blocking Sale of Aircraft to Iran” please click HERE)

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Khamenei Calls Trump

Papa B relays this tale, which is Twitter-verified and absolutely true, as far as you know:

Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei calls President-Elect Trump and tells him, “Donald, stay out of office. because last night I had a wonderful dream. I could see America, the whole beautiful country, and on each house I saw a banner.”

“What did it say on the banners?” Trump asks.

Khamenei replies, “United States of Iran.”

Trump says, “You know, I am really happy you called, because believe it or not, last night I had a similar dream. I could see all of Iran…”

“…and it was more beautiful than ever, and on each house flew an enormous banner.”

“What did it say on the banners?” Khamenei asks.

Trump replies, “I don’t know. I can’t read Hebrew.”

(For more from the author of “Khamenei Calls Trump” please click HERE)

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Iran Is Wrong: Trump Can Absolutely Overturn the Nuclear Deal

Donald Trump’s election as president has discomforted many foreign leaders, especially in Iran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed Wednesday that there is “no possibility” for the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran to be overturned by Trump, despite Trump’s threat to do so.

This is an outright lie. President Barack Obama purposely structured the deal as an executive agreement to make an end-run around Congress, which he knew would oppose the flawed and risky deal.

After his inauguration, Trump would have the authority to revoke the executive agreement. Trump has called the deal “disastrous” and said his “No. 1 priority” would be to dismantle it.

Iran’s state television channel reported that Rouhani told his Cabinet that Tehran’s “understanding in the nuclear deal was that the accord was not concluded with one country or government but was approved by a resolution of the U.N. Security Council and there is no possibility that it can be changed by a single government.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif chimed in to urge Trump to accept the agreement: “Every U.S. president has to understand the realities of today’s world. The most important thing is that the future U.S. president stick to agreements, to engagements undertaken.”

That is laughable advice, coming from the hypocritical leaders of a country that regularly violates international law by sponsoring terrorism, taking hostages, harassing shipping in international waters—not to mention violating U.N. Security Council resolutions by exporting arms to Palestinian terrorist groups, Hezbollah terrorists, Syrian militias, and Yemeni rebels.

Iran has also been caught trying to covertly buy illicit dual-use nuclear technology in Germany. This violates its commitments under the nuclear agreement to obtain international approval for all nuclear purchases.

The new administration could use these or other violations as a justification for doing away with the nuclear deal.

Trump has promised to enforce the nuclear deal so strictly that it will be patently clear that Iran is responsible for the deal’s demise. During the presidential campaign he said:

You know, I’ve taken over some bad contracts. I buy contracts where people screwed up and they have bad contracts. But I’m really good at looking at a contract and finding things within a contract that, even if they’re bad, I would police that contract so tough that they don’t have a chance. As bad as the contract is, I will be so tough on that contract.

Iran’s dictators have had an easy time out-negotiating and out-maneuvering the Obama administration, which eagerly sought to clinch a deal. The administration made huge concessions that allowed Iran to dismantle international sanctions without dismantling key elements of its nuclear program, which continues to advance.

It looks like the Trump administration will take a much harder line on the Iran nuclear issue, which will be one of the earliest foreign policy issues it must address. (For more from the author of “Iran Is Wrong: Trump Can Absolutely Overturn the Nuclear Deal” please click HERE)

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U.S. Ship Forced to Change Course After Being Harrassed by Iranian Vessels

In an open act of harassment, a fast attack craft, belonging to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps approached a U.S. Navy coastal patrol ship in the central Gulf Sunday, coming within 100 yards of the vessel.

A statement from U.S. Defense Department officials called the encounter between the Iranian ship and the USS Firebolt, “unsafe and unprofessional due to lack of communications and the close-range harassing maneuvering.”

According to the department officials, uncovered weapons manned by members of the crew were visible on the Iranian ships.

As the ship continued to approach the U.S. vessel, the Firebolt tried unsuccessfully to make radio contact.

After three attempts at communication with the Iranian ship, the Firebolt was forced to change its course.

According to one official, Iranian ships have been responsible for 31 such incidents of harassment this year alone.

“We don’t see this type of unsafe and unprofessional activity from any other nation,” the official said.

In August, Fox News reported a similar occurrence, which took place in the Strait of Hormuz.

An official with the U.S. Navy confirmed that four ships from the IRGC fleet “harassed” the American destroyer USS Nitze.

The official reported that during a “high-speed intercept,” two of the Iranian ships were able to come within 300 yards of the Nitze.

The USS Nitze, which was on a “routine transit” in international waters, was joined by the USS Mason, a guided missile destroyer, when the incident occurred.

One official described the action of the Iranian ships as “unsafe and unprofessional.”

He went on to say the incident “created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation.”

The USS Nitze made 12 unsuccessful attempts to communicate with the Iranian vessel after which the USS Mason sounded its whistle 5 times, but the Iranian ships continued to approach.

Just like the USS Firebolt, the Nitze was forced to change course. (For more from the author of “U.S. Ship Forced to Change Course After Being Harrassed by Iranian Vessels” please click HERE)

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MARK LEVIN: Dammit, Obama Lied and Iran Is on Its Way to Nukes!

Thursday on the Mark Levin program, Conservative Review’s Editor-in-Chief read a report indicating the Obama administration cut a secret deal with Iran to permit the terrorist-sponsoring regime to violate restrictions put in place by last year’s nuclear deal.

“This is the biggest issue of the day, the biggest issue of the month, the biggest issue of the year!”


“These are impeachable offenses. For Obama. For Vice-President Biden. For Secretary of State Kerry. For Susan Rice. For the whole top-level of the administration, the president on down,” Levin said.

“We have just armed up the most aggressive, detestable terrorist-state on the face of the earth! We’ve just sold out to them! They’re on their way [to] building nuclear weapons!”

“This is the fate that Barack Obama has sealed for the American people!”

Mark Levin continued after the break, tearing into the Iran nuclear deal and the feckless politicians who gave it to us.

“They may seek to wash their hands, but their hands are full of uranium! Their hands are full of plutonium!” (For more from the author of “MARK LEVIN: Dammit, Obama Lied and Iran Is on Its Way to Nukes!” please click HERE)

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WATCH: Four Iranian Vessels Harass U.S. Destroyer by Straits of Hormuz

Four patrol boats operated by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps harassed an American destroyer on Tuesday near the Straits of Hormuz, a U.S. defense official told Reuters on Wednesday.

Two of the Iranian boats came within 300 yards of the USS Nitze in a manner that the unnamed official called “unsafe and unprofessional.” The IRGC boats harassed the Nitze by “conducting a high speed intercept and closing within a short distance of Nitze, despite repeated warnings,” the official added.

The Nitze attempted to communicate with the IRGC vessels 12 times and fired 10 warning flares in the direction of the two closest boats. “The Iranian high rate of closure… created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation, including additional defensive measures by Nitze,” the official said.

The incident is the latest Iranian challenge to American presence in the Persian Gulf and its commitment to keep the area open to international shipping. IRGC naval forces captured ten American sailors and two boats in January, an incident that Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter called “outrageous, unprofessional and inconsistent with international law” during a Senate hearing in March. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson echoed Carter’s assessment while announcing the result of the Navy’s investigation into the seizure in June. “Those boats and crewmembers had every right to be where they were that day,” Richardson said. “The investigation concluded that Iran violated international law by impeding the boats’ innocent passage transit, and they violated our sovereign immunity by boarding, searching, and seizing the boats, and by photographing and video recording the crew.”

The U.S. Navy reported last month that in 2015, there were close to 300 encounters or “interactions” between American and Iranian naval vessels in the Persian Gulf. While most of the encounters were not considered to be harassment, the behavior of the Iranian navy was found to be less disciplined than that of other navies. Lt. Forrest Griggs, the operations officer of the USS New Orleans, explained that risks arise from the unpredictable behavior and uncertain intent of the Iranian vessels. “It’s very common for them to come up to within 300, 500 yards of us, and then they’ll turn, or parallel us and stop,” he said. (Read more from “WATCH: Four Iranian Vessels Harass U.S. Destroyer by Straits of Hormuz” HERE)

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Obama’s Cash Deal Encourages Iran to Take More Hostages

The trickle of disturbing leaks about the Obama administration’s flawed and risky Iran policy continues to grow. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that “New details of the $400 million U.S. payment to Iran earlier this year depict a tightly scripted exchange specifically timed to the release of several American prisoners held in Iran.”

Although President Barack Obama’s White House persistently has denied that the cash transfer amounted to a ransom payment, a State Department spokesman admitted Thursday that the U.S. government delayed making the payment “to retain maximum leverage” over Iran.

This concession confirms widespread suspicions that the negotiations over the release of four Americans were at least tacitly, if not directly, linked to negotiations over the return of frozen Iranian money that had been paid to the United States before Iran’s 1979 revolution for military weapons.

When the administration announced in January that the hostages had been released, it also announced that it had agreed to pay Tehran $1.7 billion to settle a longstanding claim at the U.S.-Iran claims tribunal, which was set up under the 1981 Algiers Accords that resolved the first Iran hostage crisis. But the White House insisted that the payment was made as part of the agreement that resolved the 1979-1981 Iran hostage crisis, not the latest hostage deal.

The January hostage deal involved the release of four innocent Americans held on trumped-up charges in exchange for seven Iranians justifiably imprisoned or charged with sanctions violations and the dropping of criminal charges against another 14 Iranians arrested outside the United States for various offenses.

Such criminals-for-hostages swaps reward hostage taking and the deal was criticized for that reason when the hostages were released on Jan. 17, the day after the “Implementation Day” of the Iran nuclear agreement.

But subsequent revelations have put the prisoner exchange in an even worse light.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Aug. 3 that $400 million worth of cash was transferred to Iran on the same day the hostages were released, at the request of the Iranian officials involved in the hostage negotiations who “said they wanted the cash to show that they had gained something tangible.”

Senior Justice Department officials had objected to sending the cash at the same time as the hostage release, but their objections were overruled by the State Department.

Clearly, Iranian officials consider the cash payment to be a hostage ransom. The commander of the Basij, a volunteer force affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, gloated in January that the United States had bought the freedom of the American prisoners with the payment.

The Tehran regime has arrested at least six more foreign visitors since the payment was made in January, including Reza Shahini, a dual Iranian-American citizen, and Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese national with U.S. permanent residency.

Siamak Namazi, an Iranian-American businessman based in Dubai, was arrested in October while visiting a friend in Tehran.

Even more disturbing is the case of Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007. Levinson went missing after interviewing David Belfield, an American convert to Islam who fled to Iran after he assassinated an exiled Iranian opposition leader, Ali Akbar Tabatabai, in 1980 in Bethesda, Maryland.

Clearly, Tehran has concluded that crime does pay.

The Obama administration’s hostage deal is a dangerous precedent that puts more Americans at risk of being targeted by Iran and its terrorist surrogates to extract ransom payments in the future.

This is part of the hazardous legacy that Obama will leave for the next president. (For more from the author of “Obama’s Cash Deal Encourages Iran to Take More Hostages” please click HERE)

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