By , Adam Kredo
Published April 28, 2016
The Obama administration has spent three years engaged in secret talks with Iran that resulted in the payment of nearly $2 billion in taxpayer funds to the Islamic Republic, with more payouts likely to come in the future, according to a recent letter issued by the State Department and obtained exclusively by the Washington Free Beacon.
The administration’s disclosure came in response to an inquiry launched in January by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), who was seeking further information about the Obama administration’s payment of $1.7 billion in taxpayer funds to Iran, which many viewed as a “ransom payment” for Iran’s release that month of several U.S. hostages.
The administration’s official response to Pompeo was sent earlier this week, just days after a Free Beacon report detailing a months-long State Department effort to stall the lawmaker’s inquiry.
“We apologize for the delay in responding,” Julia Frifield, an assistant secretary for legislative affairs, states in the letter’s opening.
Obama administration officials first began talks to settle a number of outstanding legal claims leveled against the United States by Iran in 2014. The administration predicts that more taxpayer-funded payments are likely to be granted to the Islamic Republic in the future, according to the letter.
Frifield in her letter goes on to defend the $1.7 billion payment to Iran and discloses that the administration is open to providing Tehran with more money if it is willing to settle these decades-old legal disputes with the United States.