U.S. Says $400 Million to Iran Was Used as Prisoner Leverage

Updated on
  • Obama team ‘deliberately leveraged that moment’: State Dept.
  • Payment was part of $1.7 billion settlement owed to Iran

President Barack Obama boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland en route to Ottawa on June 29, 2016.

Photographer: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. withheld a $400 million cash payment to Iran earlier this year as leverage to ensure the country would release American prisoners as promised, State Department spokesman John Kirby said, further fueling criticism that the delivery was effectively a ransom.

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