On today’s op-ed page, Marc Thiessen says “Obama took lying to new heights with the Iran deal.”
Mr. Thiessen is talking specifically about how President Obama and his secretaries of state, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, permitted Iran access to our financial system, and with Mr. Obama, lied to the American people because they allowed Iran to fund terrorist groups that, says Investors Business Daily, included “Hezbollah, the Houthi rebels in Yemen and Iran’s own Quds Force, the dirty tricks and terror branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.”
A report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released Wednesday night reveals that after signing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which unfroze Iran’s U.S. bank accounts in exchange for the regime’s non-proliferation pledge, the Obama administration “publicly maintained,” says Jack Crowe on NationalReview.com, “that all non-nuclear sanctions barring Iran from operating within the U.S. financial system would remain in place.”
“Senior U.S. government officials repeatedly testified to Congress that Iranian access to the U.S. financial system was not on the table or part of any deal,” said the Senate report.
But despite what they said and pledged to the American people and Congress, in February 2016 the Obama administration helped Tehran recover $5.7 billion in the Bank Muscat in the Persian Gulf state of Oman. As this was proceeding, Obama officials continued to lie to Congress.
Said the Associated Press: “As the Treasury and State Department worked behind the scenes to help Iran access the dollar, the message to Congress remained the same: The JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) did not allow Iran to access the U.S. financial system.”
Mr. Obama’s message to Congress, says IBD, was “if you don’t block this nuclear deal, we will bar Iran’s access to our financial system. The deal was clear and unequivocal.
“It was also a lie. Obama lied, and so did others in his administration,” says IBD.
Under terms of the nuclear deal hidden from the American public and Congress — and which President Trump overturned in May — Iran was permitted to access $5.7 billion in Omani rials, a currency, says Mr. Crowe, that is notoriously difficult to convert. “The Obama administration attempted to help the Iranians convert the funds to Euros by issuing a special treasury license to two large U.S. banks empowering them to convert the funds first into dollars and then euros.”
The Senate report says the Obama administration’s plan failed because the banks declined to complete the transaction due to compliance, reputational, and legal risks associated with doing business with Iran.”
Access to the American financial system “is the crown jewel, what all these countries would love. Yet our government offered it while at the same same time telling the American people they weren’t offering it,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the subcommittee chairman.
No one, says IBD “knows how much of the $5.7 billion that Obama allowed Iran to access also went to terrorist activities, or for that matter went to further research activity on Iran’s nuclear bomb projects. That awaits a later investigation.”
The deal also removed some $100 billion in sanctions on Iran, making it a big player in the Middle East, as it now funds terrorism on Israel’s border.
“Paying to support terrorism and not telling the American people about it,” says IBD. “Still think the Obama administration was scandal free?”