WASHINGTON4 (Sputnik) — The $400-million cash payment the United States made to Iran in January was not negotiated by the same team that settled the Iran nuclear deal, US Secretary of State John Kerry said during a press conference in Argentina on Thursday.
"What was negotiated was an agreement in the Hague tribunal. It was separated by a professional, career team, not by some political group or anything to do with the Iran group. We did not negotiate it," Kerry told reporters.
On Wednesday, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said the payment aimed to reimburse funds the Iranian government paid to the United States in 1979 for military equipment that had never been provided.
Kerry explained that the negotiators reached an agreement at a time when Iran needed money because the country was cut off from much of the world banking system.
Furthermore, Kerry said that it was to the benefit of the United States to settle the case for $400 million, because Tehran could have been awarded billions of dollars if the case had been adjudicated.