Sen. Tom Cotton demands answers on Iran payment

Sen. Tom Cotton demands answers on Iran payment
U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R) Arkansas (Source:

(KAIT) - A U.S. Senator from Arkansas demands answers about the political firestorm over the Iran payment.

A report states the Obama administration paid $400 million to Iran during the same time of the release of four American prisoners.

In a Facebook post Wednesday, Sen. Tom Cotton said he sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew demanding answers about the payment.

He said he's asked the administration several times in the past about how and in what currencies the payment was made.

He said it did not respond.

In the letter he asked:

  1. The timing and nature of the payment makes plain that the payment was a ransom for U.S. hostages. I understand that the administration insists that the negotiation over the $1.7 billion and the negotiation over the hostages occurred on separate tracks. However, are you willing to clearly state that the January release of the hostages would have occurred even if the administration had not agreed to pay $1.7 billion to Iran?
  2. Have any Iranian officials or their intermediaries discussed with the administration or its intermediaries further cash payments to be made in connection with the release of U.S. hostages currently being detained by Iran?
  3. That the $400 million was paid in cash form in currencies that are generally accepted for international trade purposes increases the risk that Iran can transfer that cash to terrorist proxies or to sellers of illicit arms and military technology. Is the administration tracking how Iran is using the $400 million in cash? Has any of that cash gone toward funding terrorism or advancing Iran's attempts to acquire weapons and military technology?
  4. In what manner and in what currencies will the remaining $1.3 billion be paid? Will it be paid in cash and also flown to Iran?

To read more about the Iran payment, click here.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android