Former US President Donald Trump lashed out at his successor, President Joe Biden, after the Biden Administration secured the release of five Americans held by Iran in exchange for five Iranian prisoners and $6 billion.
“I brought 58 HOSTAGES home from many different countries, including North Korea, and never paid anything. EVERYONE UNDERSTOOD THAT THEY HAD TO ALLOW THESE PEOPLE TO RETURN HOME. Towards the end, it got to the point where countries wouldn’t even start the conversation by asking for money, because they knew they wouldn’t get it,” Trump wrote in Truth Social.
He added: “Once you pay, you always pay, and many more hostages will be taken. Our wildly incompetent ‘leader’, corrupt Joe Biden, gave 6 BILLION DOLLARS for 5 people. Iran gave ZERO for 5. It is dumber than a stone.”
The American hostages were flown from Tehran to Doha early Monday.
As part of the agreement, five Iranian citizens imprisoned in the United States for various crimes were also released, and the Biden Administration agreed to issue a blanket waiver for international banks to transfer $6 billion in frozen Iranian money from South Korea to Qatar without fear of US sanctions.
Biden Administration officials have stated that under the agreement, the $6 billion would be used exclusively for humanitarian purposes. However, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi declared that humanitarian means whatever the Iranian government says it means, fueling concerns that the money will be used to finance terrorism.
Critics of the deal have warned that by agreeing to a trade in which Iran receives $6 billion, in addition to the return of its citizens, the United States has incentivized Iran to take more hostages in the future.