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FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2016 file-pool photo, Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna, after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verified that Iran has met all conditions under the nuclear deal. A document obtained by The Associated Press Monday, July 18, 2016, says key nuclear restrictions on Iran will ease in a little more than a decade, halving the time Tehran would need to build a bomb if it chose to do so. The document says that 11 to 13 years into the 15-year agreement, Iran can replace the 5,060 inefficient centrifuges it now uses to enrich uranium with up to 3,500 advanced machines. (Kevin Lamarque/Pool via AP, File)

US State Department comes clean about $400M payment to Iran


The US Department of State revealed Thursday that the $400 million cash payment to Iran was dependent on American prisoners' release, according to the Associated Press.

[Original story]

US officials have confirmed that the US timed its $400 million payment to Iran on Jan. 17 with the release of American hostages, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

President Barack Obama and other US officials have said the payment to Iran after four Americans were released from prison did not amount to ransom, but instead took place through two separate channels.

Now, officials briefed on the operation are saying an Iranian cargo plane left Geneva with the cash after a flight with Americans aboard took off from Tehran.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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