The Obama administration granted a license letting Iran access the United States financial system despite officials’ pledges that they would prohibit it, according to a draft report from the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
“On Feb. 24, 2016, the Treasury Department issued a specific license to Bank Muscat to authorize the conversion of Iran’s rials to euros through ‘any United States depository institution …,’” the draft report said. “Even after the specific license was issued, U.S. government officials maintained in congressional testimony that Iran would not be granted access to the U.S. financial system,” Fox News reports.
The Obama administration secretly sought to give Iran access — albeit briefly — to the U.S. financial system by sidestepping sanctions kept in place after the 2015 nuclear deal, despite repeatedly telling Congress and the public it had no plans to do so.
An investigation by Senate Republicans released Wednesday sheds light on the delicate balance the Obama administration sought to strike after the deal, as it worked to ensure Iran received its promised benefits without playing into the hands of the deal’s opponents. Amid a tense political climate, Iran hawks in the U.S., Israel and elsewhere argued that the United States was giving far too much to Tehran and that the windfall would be used to fund extremism and other troubling Iranian activity.
The report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations revealed that under President Barack Obama, the Treasury Department issued a license in February 2016, never previously disclosed, that would have allowed Iran to convert $5.7 billion it held at a bank in Oman from Omani rials into euros by exchanging them first into U.S. dollars. If the Omani bank had allowed the exchange without such a license, it would have violated sanctions that bar Iran from transactions that touch the U.S. financial system.
“The Obama administration misled the American people and Congress because they were desperate to get a deal with Iran,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) reminds us where Obama’s pallets of cash are going: “President Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran was sweetened with an illicit ransom payment and billions of dollars for the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism.”
“The Iranians wanted hard, cold cash going to their military to fund their terrorist network,” said subcommittee chairman Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), noting that Obama’s cash payments rendered the money given to Iran “untraceable.”
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.