The Obama administration reportedly gave Iran access to the United States financial system during the negotiation of the Iran deal even though officials assured the American people that wouldn’t happen.
The bombshell revelation comes from a draft report from the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), the subcommittee chairman, told Fox News the Obama administration “misled the American people” during Iran deal negotiations.
“I think they did so because they were desperate to get a deal,” he said.
Portman went public with details from the draft report on Wednesday, revealing that on February 24, 2016, “the Treasury Department issued a specific license to Bank Muscat to authorize the conversion of Iran’s rials to euros through ‘any United States depository institution.’”
“Even after the specific license was issued, U.S. government officials maintained in congressional testimony that Iran would not be granted access to the U.S. financial system,” the report added.
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At the time, Iran “had $5.7 billion in assets at Bank Muscat in Muscat, Oman, maintained as Omani rials, according to the subcommittee. Iran wanted to access that money, and using the U.S. financial system to convert it ‘was the most efficient means, even though U.S. sanctions prohibited it,’” Fox News reported.
Obama administration official first attempted to get two U.S. banks to convert the Iranian funds, but they both refused. Ultimately, Iran used European banks to convert the funds, according to the report.
"Going forward, this report underscores how important the U.S. financial system is to global finance markets," Portman said in a press release. "We now have an opportunity to fix the fundamental flaws in this deal and put in place a strong agreement that truly protects America’s national security interests and the interests of our allies in the region."