US payment of $1.7 billion to Iran made entirely in cash
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration acknowledged late Tuesday that its transfer of $1.7 billion to Iran earlier this year was made entirely in cash, using non-U.S. currency, as Republican critics of the transaction continued to denounce the payments.
Treasury Department spokeswoman Dawn Selak said in a statement the cash payments were necessary because of the "effectiveness of U.S. and international sanctions," which isolated Iran from the international finance system.
The $1.7 billion was the settlement of a decades-old arbitration claim between the U.S. and Iran. An initial $400 million of euros, Swiss francs and other foreign currency was delivered on pallets Jan. 17, the same day Tehran agreed to release four American prisoners.