These payments were not a quid pro quo as explained in the long detailed link below. This money dates back to Carter and Reagan and the overthrow of the Shah. Iran had alredy paid for weapons that we then did NOT deliver. More recently the case was being tried in international court with 3 US, 3 Iranian, and 3 neutral votes. It looked like we would loose and to reduce the likelihood of a very large payment that might take years to settle, we negotiated a more reasonable immediate settlement. We held up making the first agreed payment until some US hostages were actually being returned, but the Iranian press tried to paint this as a ransom, not a long worked on settlement of a very old debt.
Well, we should have tightened it up then.
Seriously though, the Vox article is garbage. It is defending Obama for filtering Billions and cash and gold to the Iranian terrorists.
The "international courts" can go to hell. The Iranians are a rogue state. The stormed our embassy, took our diplomats and Marines hostage, stole our property, funded terrorism all over the world, murdered US and Israeli citizens, etc.
The "international courts" didn't bat an eye.
True that it was Iran’s money- not true that it was this regime’s money since they did not come to power legitimately.
The funds should have been held in trust until a legitimate elected government comes to power. The reason Obama did it was most likely to make it that much more difficult for those protestors interested in toppling the Mullahs to establish a government and plan and fund elections.
I doubt the Obama admin was ever seriously fighting the case in the international court. If the deal had been a reasonable one to ‘save us money’ as is claimed Obama would not have had to go through the lengths he did to do an end run around congress and would not have used the fund he did- which was NOT the Iranian account but was from an emergency account funded with US taxpayer’s money. Nor would he have had to launder the money into various other currencies...instead congress could have made an exemption for the deal so that the gyrations and wiggling over sanctions violations would be unnecessary.