State Dept.: Former Hostage's Claims 'ARE FALSE'

Craig Bannister | August 9, 2016
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A former hostage released by Iran is lying when he says that the plane returning him to the U.S. couldn’t leave until another plane had landed in Iran, State Dept. Spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau suggested Monday at a press briefing.

Asked about the timing of the departure of the two planes, and about Saeed Abedini’s claim that the plane returning him home couldn’t leave Iran until another plane arrived, Trudeau refuted Abedini’s statement and refused to answer the reporter’s “tick-tock” question:

“So, I’m not going to get into the tick-tock of specifics, but claims that our freed Americans were not allowed to depart Iran until a plane full of cash landed anywhere are false.”

“Okay. I missed the part where you said that – when the plane arrived,” the reporter followed up. But, again, Trudeau wouldn’t answer the reporter’s “tick-tock” question– except to double-down on her condemnation of the former hostage’s "false" claim.

QUESTION: “Okay. I don’t have a lot today, but let’s start with seeing if I can get an answer to a question that I asked – that was asked twice last week, having to do with Iran and the $400 million shipment. And that question is: Are you now able to say whether or not the plane with the money landed before the plane with the prisoners took off from Tehran? Because as you may know, since the question was last asked on Thursday, one of the former prisoners said that they had to wait for this other plane, or at least another plane to arrive. Are you able to shed any more light on that?”

MS TRUDEAU: “So I’m not going to get into the tick-tock of specifics, but claims that our freed Americans were not allowed to depart Iran until a plane full of cash landed anywhere are false.”

“As U.S. officials have previously publicly discussed, there was a delay in our citizens being released that day that had nothing to do with the Hague settlement and was related to resolving some last-minute issues solely related to the prisoners – most importantly, locating and ensuring all of the individuals who were involved with the prisoner swap were on the plane and ready to depart – Mr. Rezaian, Mr. Abedini, Mr. Hekmati. Suffice it to say getting all the pieces put into place, making sure our citizens were released, and with our reciprocal goodwill gesture of providing relief to certain Iranian citizens here in the United States, required delicate diplomacy up to the end. So I think that answers your question.”

QUESTION: “Okay. I missed the part where you said that – when the plane arrived.”

MS TRUDEAU: “Yeah. We – it was the question if there was a delay before the taking off until a plane coming down. It was false.”

 

 

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