No, the $1.7 billion Obama forked over to Iran wasn't 'its own money'

When President Obama's official portrait by Kehinde Wiley came out, its easily manipulated vector graphics made it an easy target for parodies and satires.  The funniest one, passed around from viewer to viewer, on Facebook, was by an unknown satirist here.

Or here:

It's funny because it says something so true about President Obama and his much vaunted Iran deal with the mullahs, which is the single foreign policy element of his legacy he and his minions defend hardest.  The mullahs rolled in cash as a result of rolling Obama and his gullible team over the deal, knowing that Obama was desperate for some sort of legacy.  They shook $1.7 billion out of him, based on $400 million in funds the old shah of Iran had deposited in the U.S. for military purchases.  After that, they made off like bandits with the loot.

Hundreds of millions of dollars rolled in on pallets on secret flights to the mullahs, in addition to cash released from other sources.  From there, it was spent on financing terrorism and insurrection in places such as Yemen, as well as in the Syrian conflict and beyond.  As Iran fell into disrepair, its people choked by the effects of global sanctions, the mullahs lived it up, got rich, and then used that cash to spread trouble.

It's an ugly picture, and since then, the Obamatons have attempted to spread a myth to draw attention away from their rotten deal: that the cash from America was really Iran's cash all along, and the mullahs were just getting what was owed to them.

It's horse hockey.  The estimable Lee Smith, writing in Tablet magazine, exposes how that $1.7 billion was anything but the rightful property of the mullahs.

First, when Iran submitted its claim in 1981, the US filed an $817 million counterclaim for Iran's violations of its obligations under the FMS program. As Rick Richman explained in a 2016 Mosaic article, "with both the claim and the counterclaim still pending, it was possible that Iran owed billions of dollars to the U.S., not the reverse."

Second, a 2000 law signed by President Bill Clinton, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, said that Iran's FMS account could not be refunded until court judgments held by the U.S. government against Iran for damages from terrorist acts against American citizens were resolved to America's satisfaction.

So, it turns out, the mullahs had had many judgments against them for inflicting terrorism on Americans, and some of them sued.  Courts ruled for them, and the cash should have been paid from the original $400 million.  It wasn't, but the judgments stood, and in the past, this has been the big obstacle for Iran to get its money back.  Second, it wasn't its money anyway, given that Iran under the mullahs had violated the terms of the parked cash anyway.

And now the Obamatons defend their bad deal with Iran by saying it was all Iran's money anyway?  Never mind the dead terrorist victims over the years.  Give 'em nothing?

Someone seems to have a guilty conscience.

With Smith's reporting, another Obama myth is busted.

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