The United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a report today that indicated the former Obama administration mislead the public and Congress with regards to authorizations made to Iran during negotiations made during the 44th president’s term. The Washington Examiner reports that the Obama administration secretly gave Iran access to U.S. financial systems and marketplaces contrary to current law on the books created by heavy sanctions imposed against the state sponsor of global terror.
The report made it clear that Iran was not able to leverage direct action via American banks as two specific U.S. banks refused the Obama administration’s pressure to conduct the conversion of Iranian funds holed up in an Omani bank into USD and then Euros, standing on the dangers of being caught violating the law. A special license was then granted quietly by the 44th president’s administration in February of 2016, explicitly allowing the usage of American financial infrastructure to funnel the stranded Iranian monies to amenable European banks, which converted the finances into liquid Euros for the Iranian leadership. The report drills down deeper, naming the specific financial institution involved — the Iranian Bank Muscat was allowed to move nearly $6 billion through the U.S. marketplace.
“For the duration of the specific license, Bank Muscat was authorized to use the U.S. financial system to convert additional future Iranian deposits, known as ‘fresh funds,'” the report outlines. “One Bank Muscat executive wrote this was a gigantic breakthrough which has assured Iran of almost full global financial inclusion.'”
The report concludes this line of thinking with an illumination of the pressure being applied to private sector lenders in the hopes of facilitating the conversion within American borders, instead of having to eventually outsource the laundering of the Iranian money to European bankers.
“A State Department official even suggested that Secretary Kerry or Secretary Lew should contact the U.S. banks and encourage them to facilitate the conversion,” the report goes on to say. “Both banks declined to complete the transaction due to compliance, reputational, and legal risks associated with doing business with Iran.”
The facts contained within the Senate Subcommittee report are sure to stoke a flame already lit beneath Republican members of Congress, and perhaps President Trump himself. The Republicans have been critical of how the Iran deal was handled for some time now, accusing the Obama administration of misleading the public and members of Congress, with regards to how the negotiations were being handled. With the revelation that these accusations may indeed be justified factually, political analysts expect the issue to surface again with renewed vigor, especially with primaries ongoing in many state contests as well as midterm elections being scheduled for later this year.
Iran remains the top terror sponsor in the world that is a formal state actor, reports CNN. ISIS is the most dangerous non-state actor conducting acts of global terrorism. President Trump has taken a hard-line stance regarding relations with Iran since he first announced his candidacy for the office of president in the 2016 election. Reintroducing sanctions with an even more severe grip and entirely scorning Iranian leadership, particularly Ayatollah Khamenei, President Trump seems to have thrown the gauntlet down, allying himself firmly with Israel in the process.