There are new details of the Iran nuclear agreement, made by the administration of President Barack Obama, regarding the prisoner swap that occurred between the United States and Iran, Politico reports.
According to its findings, Politico states that the details of the prisoner swap that the Obama administration released lack some clarity. As part of the Iran deal, the United States agreed to release some of its Iranian prisoners in exchange for some of Iran’s American prisoners.
At the time, the Obama administration called the Iranians that the U.S. released “civilians” and described them as individuals who would be on trial for “sanctions-related offenses, violations of the trade embargo.”
However, Politico discovered that the Department of Justice accused some of the released men of being national security risks. Politico’s Josh Meyer writes:
Three allegedly were part of an illegal procurement network supplying Iran with U.S.-made microelectronics with applications in surface-to-air and cruise missiles like the kind Tehran test-fired recently, prompting a still-escalating exchange of threats with the Trump administration.
It has also been reported that the DOJ dropped charges against over a dozen fugitives in an effort to aid the White House in making a deal with the Iranians.
The Obama administration did not release the names or details of these men at the time. However, it has now been uncovered that three of them were attempting to lease a Boeing aircraft for a Hezbollah-supported airline, and another was accused of conspiracy to buy thousands of U.S.-made assault rifles and smuggle them into Iran.
The “biggest fish,” according to Politico, is Seyed Abolfazl Shahab Jamili, who was charged with conspiring to acquire parts “with nuclear application for Iran via China” for close to seven years. (2005-2012).
Politico alleges that much of the dealing going on internationally was done so without many DOJ officials knowing. Some individuals with DOJ had been spending decades attempting to infiltrate the networks where these types of individuals operate.
“When federal prosecutors and agents learned the true extent of the releases, many were shocked and angry,” Meyer wrote.
The new report cites experts claiming that it appears the Obama administration made decisions regarding the Iran deal for political “shrewd calculations” and that the moves elevated our national security risk. Additionally, the report finds that some of the moves that the administration made led to “operational slowdowns” with federal agencies.
“The former [senior Obama administration] official also acknowledged the complaints by agents and prosecutors about cases being derailed but said they were unavoidable, and for the greater good.”
These new findings are sure to spark interest within the DOJ, the State Department, and the international community at large. Going forward, it will be important to watch how the current administration handles the newly public information released about its predecessor.