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Published On: Wed, Jun 6th, 2018

Obama lied about Iran sanctions, tried to funnel billions in secret money exchange

The Obama administration skirted their own key U.S. sanctions to grant Iran access to billions in hard currency despite public assurances the administration was engaged in no such action, according to a new congressional investigation, details published by the AP and other sources.

The investigation, published Wednesday by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, further discloses secret efforts by top Obama administration officials to assure European countries they would receive a pass from U.S. sanctions if they engaged in business with Iran.

The findings confirm earlier reports by the Washington Free Beacon surrounding efforts by the Obama administration to go above and beyond the terms of the landmark nuclear deal to appease Iran and grant it billions in hard currency, as well as access to the U.S financial system, despite multiple assurances to Congress this was not the case.

Photo/Tijl Vercaemer

The effort was unsuccessful because American banks, fearful of violating U.S. sanctions, declined to participate.

The Obama administration approached two U.S. banks to facilitate the conversion, the report said, but both refused, citing the reputational risk of doing business with or for Iran.

“The Obama administration misled the American people and Congress because they were desperate to get a deal with Iran,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio), chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. “Despite claims both before and after the Iran deal was completed that the U.S. financial system would remain off limits, the Obama administration issued a specific license allowing Iran to convert billions of dollars in assets using the U.S. financial system.”

Issuing the license was not illegal.

President Obama speaking in Dallas July 2016

Still, it went above and beyond what the Obama administration was required to do under the terms of the nuclear agreement. Under that deal, the U.S. and world powers gave Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for curbing its nuclear program.

Last month, President Donald Trump declared the U.S. was pulling out of what he described as a “disastrous deal.”

The license issued to Bank Muscat stood in stark contrast to repeated public statements from the Obama White House, the Treasury and the State Department, all of which denied that the administration was contemplating allowing Iran access to the U.S. financial system.

Obama administration officials said the decision to grant the license had been made in line with the spirit of the deal, which included allowing Iran to regain access to foreign reserves that had been off-limits because of the sanctions. They said public comments made by the Obama administration at the time were intended to dispel incorrect reports about nonexistent proposals that would have gone much farther by letting Iran actually buy or sell things in dollars.

Obama’s team lied about the Iranian deal in nearly every way.

In one secret meeting, U.S. officials “signaled that it would not aggressively enforce violations of the new sanctions regime,” investigators found. “For example, during a [pro-Iran] roadshow in London in March 2015 with representatives from 10 major global financial institutions, the head of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Compliance [OFAC] assured attendees that ’95 percent of the time OFAC sees an apparent violation it results in a simple warning letter or no enforcement action,'” according to minutes of these meetings. “He explained OFAC would only take action in egregious situations.”

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. ABC, CBS, and NBC, along with Spanish-language outlets Telemundo and Univision completely ignored the bombshell during their evening newscasts.

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