U.S. Department of State admit a $400m cash payment to Iran and states it was used as "leverage" in the release of five US prisoners. Spokesman John Kirby commented on the cash paid to Iran. He stresses that five Americans held in Iran were released in January in exchange for seven detained Iranians. The payment was negotiated separately from the release, but said it was withheld until the Americans had left Iran, according to BBC.
"We were able to conclude multiple strands of diplomacy within a 24-hour period," Mr Kirby told reporters. "We deliberately leveraged that moment."
$400m dollars in cash were delivered to Iran by an unmarked plane on the same day.
The reason for the new State Department comments was the publication by the Wall Street Journal The $400 Million: Legal but Not Right from the 4th of August, which stated that the money drop depended on the fate of prisoners Obama's press secretary Josh Eearnest denied the fact of ransom. White House also stated that the payment took place in the framework of long-standing financial litigation with Iran, which dates back to the 1979 Islamic revolution.
"The United States under President Obama has never paid a ransom to release unjustly detained Americans in Iran. We will not pay ransoms in the future ", - Obama's press secretary Josh Eearnest.