America’s Six Billion Dollar Secret

Reading between the headlines, the US paid six billion dollars to ransom five American spies imprisoned by Iran. Three of those deny they were spying. The other two decline to identify themselves. That’s right. Although that’s 1.2 Billion a head, the press refuses to investigate. Both the US and Iran are colluding to keep the secret. What could that be about?

To clarify, it was a prisoner swap: five Iranian sanctions-violators plus six billion in frozen Iranian assets, in exchange for the release of five American spies.

The five sanctions-breakers are Mehrdad Moin-Ansari, Kambiz Attar-Kashani, Reza Sarhangpour-Kafrani, Amin Hassanzadeh and Kaveh Afrasiabi, from among a dozen held by the US for “breaking US sanctions against Iran.” Former vice president Dick Cheney broke those sanctions but wasn’t detained.

The three named US spies are Siamak Namazi, Morad Tahbaz, and Emad Shargi. All three insist their activities were not espionage. There’s little reason to doubt Tehran, a deeply religious and moral society. We also have the hilariously telling example of the famous embassy hostages detained by the Islamic Revolution whom subsequent accounts have dropped all efforts to disguise as other than intelligence officers.

Strangely enough both the press and the Iranian government itself are okay with keeping Washington’s secret. Six billion dollars is a lot of payola.

The pretext is that the two unnamed spies want their privacy. Perhaps they have years to go before retirement, so wish to remain assets to the US intelligence complex. Right. Perhaps their covers, the NGOs which employed them, are not commonly associated with CIA fronts, and networks of similarly inserted operatives would thus be exposed. Is that worth six billion? More likely the two incognitos would be recognized if their faces were seen by earlier dupes than the Iranians. More likely, international figureheads would roll. Iran has probably known this all along and knew that the strength of its bargaining chips lay in concealing their identity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *