While Obama Administration officials deny any link between the two events, senior members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard beg to differ. Said Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi, commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s Basij militia, to Iranian state media:
“Taking this much money back was in return for the release of the American spies.”
For their part, lawmakers from across the nation decried the arrangement, concurring that the American government’s actions amounted to the payment of a ransom. Senator Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, commented on the deal, saying, “This break with longstanding U.S. policy put a price on the head of Americans, and has led Iran to continue its illegal seizures [of American citizens].”
Senator Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, announced his support of the Iranian nuclear deal in September 2015, joining President Obama in an effort to turn over a new leaf with the Iranian regime. Bennet’s office, unsurprisingly, has not commented on these latest revelations.
Kelly Maher, executive director of Compass Colorado, demanded that Bennet be held accountable for his role in America’s glaringly unhealthy relationship with Iran:
“Senator Bennet blessed this atrocious agreement with Iran almost a year ago. Since then, Iran has illegally held American sailors captive, continued supporting revolutionaries who cry ‘death to America,’ and only given lip service to their promise to disband their nuclear program.
“Bennet supported the agreement under the assumption that doing so would help the Iranian government modernize and moderate their worldview. Either Bennet is hopelessly naïve, extremely reckless or blindly partisan. I’m guessing it’s a little bit of each.”