(Washington, D.C.) Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15) released the following statement regarding a $400 million cash payment from the United States to Iran that took place on 17 January 2016:

 “The recent revelations surrounding the circumstances of the Administration’s $400 million payment to Iran are extremely concerning. It seems like there is no end to President Obama’s Iranian appeasement project,” Dent commented.

 Prior to the transfer of funds, some officials in the Department of Justice expressed concerns that issuing the $400 million cash payment to Iran at the same time as the prisoner release would make the exchange look like a ransom. Regardless of intent, the Administration has now admitted that U.S. officials prohibited the $400 million payment to Iran until three of the prisoners were on a plane departing from Tehran.

 “The administration can hide behind the semantics of ransom versus leverage, but it does not change the reality that our national security has been compromised as a result of this transaction. At best, this is a suspicious coincidence, and at worst, it shows that the Obama administration does not abide by America’s historical opposition to ransom payments. The sequencing of events that the administration pursued sends the wrong message to potential adversaries and unnecessarily jeopardizes the security of our troops serving abroad.”

 In closing, Dent added, “Unfortunately, the time of the transaction and the payment of funds to Iran sends exactly the wrong message. I fear that the President's actions will allow Iran to continue to support terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, and it will jeopardize the safety of Americans across the globe.”

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