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U.S. To Pay Iran $1.7 Billion in Legal Settlement

The United States has agreed to pay a $1.7 billion legal settlement with Iran over Iranian funds they froze dating back to the Iranian revolution.

The U.S. State Department announced the government’s plan to pay Iran $1.7 billion, adjusted for interest gains. $400 million was originally set aside by an Iranian trust to purchase new military equipment.

“Clearly, it’s in the U.S. interest to resolve these (claims) in ways that reduce our risk,” a senior administration official told reporters in a conference call. “And we believe that this is a very positive settlement for us.”

CNN reports:

Another official said discussions on this claim had occurred in “fits and starts for three decades,” and that the settlement, “reduced a significant risk of liability.”

The settlement comes as the U.S. is unfreezing a much larger pool of Iranian assets, estimated at between $100-$150 billion, as part of the nuclear deal.

While U.S. officials say Iran will only pocket about $50 billion of those assets after legal claims, the announcement of this new settlement could add fuel to the fire for critics who say the U.S. is funding a destructive regime.

Administration officials dismissed that notion, suggesting U.S. taxpayers might have faced a much larger payout if the case hadn’t been settled between the parties.

The announcement of this action comes as the U.S. is imposing new sanction on Iran over ballistic missile testing, and just one day after a deal was announced to exchange four imprisoned American citizens for seven Iranians in U.S. detention.

Photo credit: WH.gov.

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