- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The House Oversight Committee said Wednesday it is probing the $400 million payment the U.S. shipped to Iran earlier this year, and said Secretary of State John Kerry should come to testify to Congress about it.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican and committee chairman, demanded Mr. Kerry turn over all documents and communications about the money, explain what steps the U.S. took to make sure the money wouldn’t go to fund terrorists or the Assad regime in Syria, and detail the negotiations involved in the exchange of four Americans who were held hostage in Iran.

The Wall Street Journal reported the $400 million was shipped out, in a secret cargo jet flight, to Iran just as the Islamic Republic was releasing the hostages to return home to the U.S.

“The timing of the first installment of the settlement agreement with Iran creates the appearance that the money was in fact tied to releasing the American hostages,” Mr. Chaffetz wrote in his letter to Mr. Kerry.

The Obama administration insists the payments weren’t ransom and the timing was a coincidence — though Iranian officials have suggested otherwise.

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