It is clear that Obama was willing to – and did – give Iran whatever they wanted to get a deal done.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nader Modanlo was facing five more years in federal prison when he got an extraordinary offer: U.S. President Barack Obama was ready to commute his sentence as part of this month’s historic and then still-secret prisoner swap with Iran. He said no.
To sweeten the deal, the U.S. administration then dropped a claim against the Iran-born aerospace engineer for $10 million that a Maryland jury found he had taken as an illegal payment from Iran, according to interviews with Modanlo, lawyers involved and U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter.
The surrender of the U.S. claim, which has not previously been reported, could add to scrutiny of how the Obama administration clinched a prisoner deal that has drawn criticism from Republican presidential candidates and lawmakers.
A Washington-based spokesman for the Justice Department declined to comment on discussions over the $10 million, which the jury found that Modanlo was paid to help Iran launch its first satellite in 2005. Modanlo says the money was a loan from a Swiss company for a telecoms deal.
So I have to ask… in this deal, Iran got a bunch of prisoners, tens of billions of dollars with the lifting of sanctions, hundreds of millions in cash for their claim from the time of the Shah, a pathway to nuclear arms, the cherry in this story, and more.
What did America get?