The Obama administration already sent one giant pallet of cash to Iran to grease them up for agreement on Obama/Kerry’s precious Iran Deal, but apparently that wasn’t quite enough, so another underhanded scheme was developed to sweeten the deal for the Ayatollah:
After striking an elusive nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration found itself in a quandary in early 2016: Iran had been promised access to its long-frozen overseas reserves, including $5.7 billion stuck in an Omani bank.
To spend it, Iran wanted to convert the money into U.S. dollars and then euros, but top U.S. officials had repeatedly promised Congress that Iran would never gain access to America’s financial system.
Those assurances notwithstanding, the Obama administration secretly issued a license to let Iran sidestep U.S. sanctions for the brief moment required to convert the funds through an American bank, an investigation by Senate Republicans released Wednesday showed. The plan failed when two U.S. banks refused to participate.
And guess what — those evil Big Banks that Obama and the Dems slammed incessantly helped put a stop to it:
The Treasury Department license, issued in February 2016 and never disclosed, would have allowed Iran to convert $5.7 billion it held at Oman’s Bank of Muscat from Omani rials into euros by exchanging them first into dollars. If the Omani bank had allowed the exchange without such a license, it would have violated sanctions that bar Iran from transactions that touch the U.S. financial system.
The situation resulted from the fact that Iran had stored billions in Omani rials, a currency that’s notoriously hard to convert. The U.S. dollar is the world’s dominant currency, so allowing it to be used as a conversion instrument for Iranian assets was the easiest and most efficient way to speed up Iran’s access to its own funds.
“Yikes,” one former Treasury official told colleagues in an email, as described by the report. “It looks like we committed to a whole lot beyond just allowing the immobilized funds to settle out.”
The Obama administration approached two U.S. banks to facilitate the conversion, the report said, but both refused, citing the reputational risk of doing business with or for Iran.
So there’s yet another reason for Obama-loving Dems to hate Big Banks.