What was worth of the lives of the four American hostages – Jason Rezaian, U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, Pastor Saeed Abedini, and Nosratollah Khosrawi Roudsari – that Iran had been holding onto? According to Iran, $425 million dollars per person ($400 million in debt along with $1.3 billion in interest).
The U.S. State Department has a different take on the reason for the funds being sent. According to one State Department source, “We did not pay ransom to secure the return of these Americans. The funds that were transferred to Iran were part of a separate but simultaneous arrangement we agreed to with Iran related to the U.S.-Iran Claims Tribunal at the Hague”.
Another source stated, “There was no bribe, there was no ransom, there was nothing paid to secure the return of these Americans who were, by the way, not spies. We’ve spoken to this in the days after their release on Sunday morning in great detail about how this process worked. There was this consular channel that was opened up to secure their release”.
So which is it? Are we once again negotiating with our enemy, or are we being misled by Iranian propaganda? We’ll probably find out after the next election.