Reader clarifies: Not American money


Editor:

Repeating a lie does not make it true.

Contrary to what the writer of a [letter-to-the-editor] published in Delaware Online (Aug. 6, 2018) states, the money released to Iran after it signed the Iran Nuclear Deal was not American money. Diplomacy is so much more complex, elegant and nuanced, but here’s a laywoman’s takeaway.

In the 1970s, Iran and U.S. were allies. Iran wanted some U.S. fighter jets and paid us $400 million dollars. Then, in 1979, they seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. In retribution, we froze the money and didn’t deliver the jets.

Iran wanted the money back with interest, of course. Over the next 30-plus years we haggled over who owed whom how much and why. Ultimately, Iran presented a $10 billion dollar bill to the Hague for international arbitration. The Obama administration negotiated privately, and Iran agreed to settle for $1.7 billion.

The U.S. team used it as a bargaining chip to get Iran to sign the nuclear deal. They signed; we did the honorable thing and sent $400 million in cash (because Iran had been cut out of the international banking system) as a down payment on the agreed-to bill.

You know the adage “Hold your friends close and your enemies closer.” I consider the Iran Nuclear Deal a positive international diplomatic coup led by American finesse because it did exactly that. What did we think would happen when we pulled out? Bingo! No one thought!

Pat Frey
Dagsboro