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White House says Iran deal is ‘not ransom’

US had 'nothing to do' with Iran consulate strike in Syria: W.House
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The White House denied Wednesday that the unfreezing of $6 billion of Iranian funds to help secure the release of five US citizens was effectively a ransom payment.

“This is not a payment of any kind. It’s not ransom,” said White House national security spokesman John Kirby, pushing back against criticism of the deal.

Kirby said the money will be held in a supervised account in Qatar that Tehran will have to submit requests to draw funds to be used strictly for humanitarian purposes.

“The Iranian people will be the beneficiaries of these funds, not the regime” in Tehran, he said.

Kirby said the US was not lifting any sanctions on Iran with the deal, and stressed that the goal was to repatriate Americans unjustifiably detained in Iran.

“Getting Americans home requires decisions, sometimes really tough decisions,” he added.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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