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PAY DAY: USA made 2 wire payments to Iran before sending $1.7 billion in cash

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The United States made at least two separate payments to the Iranian government via wire transfer within the last 14 months, a Treasury Department spokesman confirmed Saturday, contradicting explanations from President Barack Obama that such payments were impossible.

Responding to questions at an Aug. 4 press conference about a $400 million payment delivered in cash to the Iranian government, Obama said, “[T]he reason that we had to give them cash is precisely because we are so strict in maintaining sanctions and we do not have a banking relationship with Iran that we couldn’t send them a check and we could not wire the money.”

But a Treasury Department spokesman acknowledged on Saturday that on at least two occasions, the U.S. did make payments to the Iranian government via wire transfer.

In July 2015, the same month in which the U.S., Iran and other countries announced a landmark nuclear agreement, the U.S. government paid the Islamic republic approximately $848,000. That payment settled a claim over architectural drawings and fossils that are now housed in the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and Iran’s Ministry of Environment, respectively. Then, in April 2016, the U.S. wired Iran approximately $9 million to remove 32 metric tons of its heavy water, which is used to produce plutonium and can aid in the making of nuclear weapons. – READ MORE

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