13:56 GMT15 April 2021
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    New details emerged in an alleged exchange of cash for prisoners between Washington and Tehran, showing that what the US authorities deny was a quid pro quo seems to be tightly scheduled, media reported, citing sources.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Washington released a $400-million cash payment to Tehran at a time coinciding with US prisoners held in Iran being freed. The newspaper alleged that the transfer of the US funds by a plane and the release of prisoners on January 17 constituted an agreed exchange.

    On Wednesday, the paper reported, citing unnamed US officials and other sources briefed on the operation, that at a time of the suspected exchange the United States waited for a Swiss Air Force aircraft carrying the three freed US citizens to take off from Tehran before allowing Iranian officials take the sum and depart home on a cargo plane from a Geneva airport.

    Following the publication of the original WSJ claims on August 3, US President Barack Obama made a statement saying that the $400-million payment to Iran did not constitute ransom but was made due to the fact that Washington owed even a larger sum of money to Iran over a 1970-s failed arms deal, while timing was simply a coincidence.

    According to Obama, the payment had to be made in cash as the United States and Iran do not have a banking relationship.

    Related:

    $400 Mln Payment From US to Iran Part of Nuclear Deal - Iranian Minister
    Iran National Security Chief Denies Link Between US $400Mln Pay, Nuclear Talks
    US Payment of $400Mln to Iran Not Negotiated by Nuclear Deal Team - Kerry
    Iran Deal Keeps Getting Worse Amid Reports of Ransom - US Foreign Affairs
    US State Dep't Denies $400Mln Transfer to Iran Linked With 4 US Citizens Release
    Tags:
    prisoner release, prisoners, ransom, Iran, US
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