Widespread protests flooded the streets of Tehran for the sixth day on Tuesday, January 2, and Donald Trump continued to use the development to taunt adversaries both in the Iranian government and in the previous U.S. administration.
The president opened up the day on Twitter by bringing Barack Obama’s name up in relation to the unrest, with his very first tweet of the morning suggesting that a U.S. payment the Islamic Republic secured under Obama went directly towards funding terror.
“The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their ‘pockets’. The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!” the president told his 45.6 million followers.
Trump and anti-Obama conservatives have been attacking the former Commander-In-Chief for paying “ransom” for the release of three American detainees from Iran – since the Wall Street Journal reported the news as such in August of 2016. At the time the Rupert Murdoch owned publication went into detail about how a transfer of pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs, and other currencies was airlifted into the country in exchange for the U.S. citizens.
But days later the New York Times clarified that while Obama had indeed ordered a $400 million compensation to Iran on the day of the prisoners’ release, it was a payment made to settle a debt owed to Iran since 1979, as part of the deal to get the country to give up its nuclear program.
“At that time, Washington froze Iranian assets in the United States, including money paid by Tehran for military hardware that the United States never delivered after its ally there, the shah, was overthrown,” the Times reported on August 23, 2016.
Trump has never respected the agreement Obama reached with Tehran, calling it “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the U.S. has ever entered into” when he moved to decertify the deal last October.