After pissing on decades of American tradition, President Biden elected to follow a lead first started by fellow leftist and former President Obama but offering Iran the release of 5 prisoners America had been holding, as well as the release of 6 billion dollars being held by South Korea. The five Iranians the US has been holding all had unique reasons for being here, from espionage, conspiracy, and attempting to gain access to military equipment, they are the worst of the worst.
- Mehrdad Ansari is an Iranian national as well as a resident of the United Arab Emirates and Germany. Back in 2021, he was sentenced to 63 months in prison for his role in attempts to acquire military equipment for nuclear weapons, missile development, secure tactical radio communications, offensive electronic warfare, and surveillance systems, according to a release from the DOJ. This violates sanctions against Iran, and DOJ investigators discovered he lied while attempting to acquire them.
- Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi was a political scientist in addition to being an Iranian national. In 2021 he faced charges of being an unregistered agent for the Iranian government. He was caught attempting to get propaganda that was pro-Iranian to Congress, journalists, and the American people as a whole. When Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force kicked the bucket back in 2020, he emailed Iranian officials imploring them to adopt antagonistic nuclear policies. He advocated this as the time to strike.
- Amin Hasanzadeh is an Iranian National who happened to (somehow??) have US residency. In 2021 he too was charged with the theft of technical data from an unidentified employer that went to “the Iranian government’s Cruise Division of Air & Space Organization.” This info included a “real-time supercomputer with applications that would include aerospace applications.” An Iranian military veteran himself, he would send the data back to a brother in Iran who was deeply connected with the country’s military as well.
- Reza Sarhangpour Kafrani is yet another Iranian national who was indicted by a grand jury back in 2021 for not only the illegal exportation of lab equipment to Iran but also money laundering in this endeavor. While he called Montreal, Canada home at the time, it was his business in the US that got him caught. Plus, the sheer number of US and Canadian companies he did business with to ship the equipment to Iran helped raise flags of suspicion. While not convicted, he has been held and is not headed home.
- Kambiz Attar Kashani held dual Iranian and US citizenship. Sentenced to 30 months, the DOJ had charged him for exporting US technology and goods to end users in Iran. One of his end users forwarded the tech to the Central Bank of Iran, which has supported Lebanese Hizballah and the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. These groups are globally recognized as terrorist organizations.
The exchange of their five for our five is already a deal that does a lot more for Iran than it does for the American people, but Biden claimed that the release of the funds was the only way to get Iranian authorities to even come to the table to discuss such a swap. While the money is supposed to only be used for humanitarian purposes, their leadership has already said they will spend the money in any way they see fit.
Paying a ransom on top of already giving them back some horrific people is just an insult to injury to the American people. This kind of swap does nothing to strengthen American interests. If anything, it tells the Iranian people and other nations that we will take what we can get, just as long as Biden gets his moment to act like he got a good deal.