UK SkyNews: “The exact details of the agreement are being kept confidential.”
The British government reportedly paid $530 million for the release of a charity worker languishing in Iranian prison for six years.
London claims that the payment of more than half a billion dollars was a settlement of an old debt and the money will be used by Iran for “humanitarian” work.
“We have paid £393.8 million, which will only be used for humanitarian purposes,” UK Foreign secretary Liz Truss admitted. “The terms between the two sides are confidential,” she revealingly added.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrest at the Tehran airport in 2016 as she was returning to the UK after a family visit. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, mother of a seven-year old girl, was convicted of “plotting the overthrow” of the Iranian regime.
While Prime Minister Johnson’s government claims that the payment was a settlement of an old debt related to military supplies for the Shah monarchy, which was overthrown by the Mullahs 40 years ago, the family of the captive maintains that she was released in return for the huge payment. “Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband has been outspoken in arguing that Iran was holding her hostage to force Britain to pay,” The Associated Press reported.
The British newspaper Independent reported the details of the payment to Iran:
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was released by Iran after the UK paid a £400m debt to Tehran, Iranian state media has reported.
Iran’s English language broadcaster Press TV announced Britain had “settled a long-overdue debt of $530million to Tehran”.
Fars news agency also said that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe had paid Iran the $530million sum “before her release.”
The UK government confirmed on Wednesday that they had made a payment of £393.8million in settlement of the 40-year-old debt. The debt was for Chieftain tanks bought by the former Shah of Iran but never delivered after the 1979 Islamic Revolution that removed him from power.
This is not the first time Iran has taken ransom for releasing Western prisoners. In 2016, President Barack Obama’s administration admitted paying $400 million in cash for a similar prisoner release. It is worth noting that taking ransom for captives is allowed under the Sharia, the Islamic law followed by the Iranian regime.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the architect of the policy of “Maximum Pressure” on Iran during President Donald Trump’s presidency, blasted PM Johnson’s government for paying “blood money” to Iran, the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism.
The UK priced taking & holding its citizens hostage at $530 million. We prevented paying blood money— not rewarding hostage-takers. That cash will terrorize Israel, UK & US. Sadly, Iran, w/Russia & China, is rolling the West. Appeasement feels good until it fails— it always does. https://t.co/0VcGfgQSD7
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) March 16, 2022
Since President Joe Biden took office last January, he has been dismantling former President Trump’s policy of maximum pressure and replacing it with a policy of appeasement. In hopes of resorting the 2015 nuclear deal, President Biden has lifted a series of sanctions on Iran, including an international weapon’s embargo and sanctions on regime’s ‘civilian’ nuclear program.
The White House is also reportedly considering removing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the list of foreign terrorist organizations. The Biden White House has also given “written guarantees” to Russia allowing the country to freely trade with Iran, bypassing sanctions imposed in wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov disclosed on Tuesday.DONATE
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