Republicans Find New $1.7 Billion Iran Chew Toy

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Here’s the latest appeasement of Iran from the capitulator-in-chief:

A deal that sent $1.7 billion in U.S. funds to Iran, announced alongside the freeing of five Americans from Iranian jails, has emerged as a new flashpoint amid a claim in Tehran that the transaction amounted to a ransom payment.

The U.S. Treasury Department wired the money to Iran around the same time its theocratic government allowed three American prisoners to fly out of Tehran on Sunday aboard a Dassault Falcon jet owned by the Swiss air force.

….Republican lawmakers are calling for an inquiry….“There’s no way the recent events occurred randomly,” said Rep. Mike Pompeo (R. Kan.), who wrote Secretary of State John Kerry this week to ask about the payment. “We will do our best to find out if this was in our interest.”

You know, I could almost believe that this was just a coincidence. If it were really a direct payoff, both sides would have taken more care to conceal it. At least, that’s how these things usually go.

But I suppose it probably was a payoff. We would have been forced to pay out the money eventually anyway, but I guess the Iranians wanted to feel like they got the better of the Great Satan or something. And now the Republicans have something new to hold an endless series of hearings about. Everybody wins!

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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