By Daniel Baldwin
5:05 PM – Monday, September 18, 2023
The United States and Iran exchanged five prisoners on Monday in a deal that saw President Joe Biden unfreeze nearly $6 billion in Iranian assets held in South Korean banks. The U.S. maintained that this money will only be utilized for humanitarian purposes such as food and medicine. But Clare Lopez, the founder and president of Lopez Liberty LLC, says this may not be true.
“Money’s fungible and were that money to be used for let’s say humanitarian purposes,” Lopez told One America News. “That frees up another $6 billion some other place that will unmistakably, unarguably go to nuclear weapons production. It will go to terror support Islamic jihad groups in the Middle East and, and further abroad.”
Lopez even pointed out this deal could free up money that could go towards drones that Iran sends to Russia to use in the war in Ukraine.
“It will probably also go towards more Iranian drones being sent to Russia to be used against the Ukrainian people,” Lopez said. “So, in a way, the Biden Administration is going to be funding both sides of that war.”
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told NBC News in an interview that the $6 billion that will be unfrozen thanks to Biden’s prisoner swap “belongs to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and naturally, we will decide, the Islamic Republic of Iran will decide to spend it wherever we need it.”
Former President Donald Trump railed against the deal in a Truth Social post, saying “Once you pay, you always pay, & MANY MORE HOSTAGES WILL BE TAKEN.”
“The price paid at nearly $6 billion amounts to something like $1.2 billion per hostage,” Lopez said. “What more incentive does that regime need to take? More hostages, the price keeps going up.”
The White House released a statement from Biden celebrating the release of the five American hostages.
“Today, five innocent Americans who were imprisoned in Iran are finally coming home,” Biden said.
The exchange comes on the heels of the United Kingdom, France, and Germany criticizing Iran in a joint statement to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding Iran’s alleged failure to its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan (JCPoA) of Action.
“The IAEA reports show Iran has continued to accumulate enriched uranium far beyond JCPoA limits, at 5%, 20% and, most alarming, at 60%. This means that the weight of Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile is now over 18 times the amount permitted under the JCPoA,” the three countries stressed.
“I don’t know why anybody would think after all these years that Iran is not on the verge of deploying nuclear weapons or that it has not already built, in my opinion, a small handful probably of nuclear warheads,” Lopez said.