Kirby: $400 Million Payment To Iran Wasn’t Ransom, We Gave Them ‘Their Money’

UNITED STATES, Washington : State Department Spokesman John Kirby speaks during the daily briefing at the State Department on January 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. Even as world powers work to implement the Iran nuclear deal, North Korea's apparent detonation of a new bomb marks a stark setback for global anti-proliferation efforts. Kirby's message to Pyongyang was clear -- "we have consistently made clear that we will not accept it as a nuclear state" -- but not new. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN
On Wednesday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” State Department Spokesperson Admiral John Kirby (Ret.) stated that the $400 million secretly airlifted to Iran at the time Iran was releasing US prisoners was giving not a ransom, and was giving Iran “their money.” Kirby said, “Well, first of all, it was — it’s their money. This was $400 million in a trust fund that had been frozen back in the late 70s, early 80s. So, this was a longstanding claim. It was their money. And as a the president said at the time, and we spoke to this at the time, that now with the prisoners released, now with the Iran deal done, it made no sense for us to continue to drag out this claim, and so we settled it.” He added, “Well, the only thing new is this article that I’ve seen in the Wall Street Journal, is some color here about the payment schedule itself, but — and I can’t speak to that specific issue. But the fact that we settled had this claim, and done so, I might add, by saving American taxpayers billions of dollars that we might have had to pay had