Obama Didn't Just Pay Iran, He Granted 2,500 Iranians Citizenship as Part of Deal


Many Americans were angry at the decision by Barack Obama to give Iran $1.7 billion in cash in as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal.

Even the Secretary of State at the time, John Kerry, admitted some of the money would inevitably end up in the hands of terrorists.

A new allegation by a member of Iran’s parliament is going to anger even more Americans — and some Iranians as well.

Hojjat al-Islam Mojtaba Zolnour, a senior cleric who is chairman of Iran’s parliamentary nuclear committee and a member of its national security and foreign affairs committee, alleges that the Obama administration granted U.S. citizenship to 2,500 Iranians — including family members of Iranian government officials — as part of the 2015 negotiations of the Iran nuclear deal, Fox News reported Monday.

Zolnour claimed the granting of citizenship was done as a favor to senior Iranian officials with close ties to President Hassan Rouhani.

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“When Obama, during the negotiations about the JCPOA, decided to do a favor to these men, he granted citizenship to 2,500 Iranians and some officials started a competition over whose children could be part of these 2,500 Iranians,” he claimed.

President Donald Trump forwarded news of the allegation via his Twitter account early Tuesday.

It should be noted there is plenty of skepticism about Zolnour’s claim.

A unindentified State Department spokesperson told Fox News, “We’re not going to comment on every statement by an Iranian official.”

Fox News analyst and former Obama State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf was dubious of the Iranian official’s allegation. “This sounds like totally made up BS,” she said.

“The allegation is absurd and entirely false. It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that this is a case of Donald Trump parroting Fox News, which is peddling the claims of an Iranian hardliner,” Jeff Prescott, the former senior director on President Obama’s National Security Council, told CBS News.

The Department of Homeland Security also declined to comment to Fox News about the report.

The claim will likely anger many in Iran as well, especially if it was truly done as a favor to government officials.

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“Many ordinary Iranians are surprised and feel betrayed that children of the regime officials live and work in the U.S.,” Saeed Ghasseminejad, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based research institute, told Fox News. “The regime officials chant death to America but send their children to the U.S., away from the hell they have created in Iran over the past four decades.”

Ghasseminejad said some Iranians have called for the deportation of these children from America, especially in light of the fact Iran is one of the countries whose citizens are banned from entering the U.S. as part of Trump’s travel ban.

“Iranians don’t understand why the U.S. government allows the offspring of the regime officials to live in the U.S., while the U.S. has introduced a travel ban for ordinary Iranian citizens and many Americans are imprisoned in Iran,” Ghasseminejad said. “That is why many Iranians on social media have been urging the U.S. government to deport the children of the regime officials.”

The cleric did not mention specifically who might have received citizenship as part of the deal.

The Iran nuclear deal was bad policy for the U.S. If the cleric’s claims prove true, it makes the deal — and Obama’s motivation for making the agreement — even worse.

It’s no wonder President Donald Trump made it a priority to cancel the deal as written.

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Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. A native of Milwaukee, he currently resides in Phoenix.
Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. He has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcast journalism. A native of Milwaukee, he has resided in Phoenix since 2012.
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