Two leading military experts are criticizing the Biden administration’s decision to strike a deal with Iran.
“It’s not good when you look at the deal,” Ret. Gen. Keith Kellogg said on “Mornings with Maria” Tuesday, “and the timing was terrible when it was really announced yesterday on the 22nd anniversary of 9/11. And people need to understand that Iran is not a friend of the west at all.”
“To give them access to $6 billion on 9/11 just doesn’t make any sense at all,” former U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien also told guest host Cheryl Casone Tuesday. “It sends the wrong message to our adversaries. It shows American weakness and it creates a market for new hostage taking.”
Iran will reportedly release five American citizens detained in Iran and – in exchange – the U.S. will release five Iranian citizens being held in the U.S.
Additionally, the negotiation creates a blanket waiver to transfer $6 billion in frozen Iranian money from South Korea to Qatar without fear of violating U.S. sanctions. No money is going directly to Iran and no U.S. taxpayer funds are being used, Fox News has reported.
“This is not good,” Gen. Kellogg added. “And then when you look at the outreach they’ve got to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, that’s where that money is going. President Biden said: well, the money’s going to go to humanitarian efforts. No, it’s not. Anybody in their right mind knows exactly where it’s going to go.”
“Having formerly been the hostage negotiator for the United States, I’m glad to see those Americans getting home to their families and God bless them. It’s not their fault that the Biden administration got such a bad deal and couldn’t negotiate their way out of a paper bag with the Iranians,” O’Brien said.
“But giving the Iranians $6 billion to then invest that in their nuclear program, their ballistic missile program and their terrorist proxies,” the ex-NSA head continued, “whether it’s the Hezbollah in Iraq or Lebanon or Hamas in Gaza or the Houthis in Yemen, is a bad idea.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed off on the deal late last week, but Congress was not notified of the decision until Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, according to the notification, which was obtained by The Associated Press.
The $6 billion transfer was critical in getting the prisoner release deal done. Four out of the five American detainees were moved from Iranian jails into house arrest last month, while the fifth detainee had already been under house arrest.
Biden’s deal, O’Brien pointed out, creates a “future market” for American hostages.
“The concern you have when you start paying ransoms and giving this kind of money for hostages is, you relieve the suffering of the current hostages and their families, but you create a future market for more Americans to be taken overseas, and you’re just passing the misery on to future Americans will be taken hostage because of these poor decisions,” O’Brien said.
The National Security Agency did not have a response to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.
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