Iran payment under fire

0803 Iran payment(NBC News) — A new report about the timing and method of a settlement payment the United States made to Iran is causing some political finger-pointing Wednesday.

The US government delivered $400 million in Swiss Francs and Euros to Iran around the same time as the January swap in which Iran released four American prisoners.

The money is part of a $1.7 billion settlement with Tehran over money Iran paid to buy US warplanes before the Shah was overthrown in 1979, but the timing has some Republicans accusing the Obama administration of violating US policy by paying a ransom for hostages.

GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan accused the White House of “misleading the American people” and Donald Trump blamed Hillary Clinton in a tweet, calling the settlement a “scandal.”

The White House and State Department are pushing back.

“When this payment was made, with our Americans home, with the Iran deal done, the time was right to move forward with this long standing claim that goes way back to 1981,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby says.

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