NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Wooden pallets filled with foreign currency worth $400M were airlifted from the United States to Iran on the same day four American hostages were freed in Tehran earlier this year, reported the Wall Street Journal.
The secret money transfer in January included euros, Swiss francs and other currencies in an unmarked cargo plane.
On Tuesday, the WSJ cited U.S. and European officials along with congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.
The Obama administration is now being accused of paying ransom to a state-sponsor of terrorism.
White House officials told the WSJ that the hostage release coincided with the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 fall of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
“With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well,” President Barack Obama announced at the White House on Jan. 17—without acknowledging the $400 million cash settlement being flown to Iran.
"It is against the policy of the United States to pay ransoms," said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest during his daily briefing on Wednesday.