Was the $400 million in cash paid after Iran prisoner deal really ransom?
That's a pretty article, that sums up nicely the salient facts of how the US comes to be holding - and releasing piecemeal - Iranian cash.
It is nothing new.
"There is a long history of Iran getting back part of its frozen assets after Americans are released. As part of an agreement that led to the 52 remaining embassy hostages being freed in 1981, Iran received $3 billion of its $12 billion in frozen assets. The rest was used to repay American creditors or put into escrow to cover judgments against Iran.
The $400 million settlement in January was one of those cases."
Note that the money was, is, and always has been Iran's money. It is not taken from the pockets of American taxpayers.
Note that time frame for the release of the Original 52 in exchange for releasing frozen Iranian assets. That all ties in to the Iran-Contra affair, which tended to give at least passing credence to the "October Surprise" conspiracy theory ... enough so that more formal investigation took place. A number of Americans involved in that deal stand by their contention that the 'October Surprise' is far more than a 'theory.'
This Iran assets thing has been going on since the overthrow of the Shah. It covers every president since 1979, Republicans and Democrats - including, as a major player, Saint Ronald of Hollywood. But the 'conservatives,' those self-proclaimed guardians of 'American values' are going alpha sierra over Obama's chapter of this on-going drama. That means they are either too ignorant of our history - in other words, too stupid to do a bit of research - or deliberately making a mountain out of a molehill.