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Exiled Crown Prince of Iran Warns Against Biden Administration’s Prisoner Negotiation

Reza Pahlavi, the eldest son of Iran’s last shah, has raised concerns about the Biden administration’s prisoner negotiation with Iran, cautioning that the regime may misuse the financial gain obtained from the deal.

In an interview with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo, Pahlavi expressed his reservations about the negotiation, stating that the practice of paying money for ransom is fundamentally flawed. He emphasized that incentivizing a regime to take hostages sets a dangerous precedent. Pahlavi further highlighted the increasing costs associated with securing the release of hostages, expressing uncertainty about the future amounts that may be demanded for future releases.

The prisoner negotiation in question involves the release of five American citizens detained in Iran in exchange for the release of five Iranian citizens being held in the United States. Additionally, the deal includes a waiver to facilitate the transfer of $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds from South Korea to Qatar, bypassing U.S. sanctions. It’s important to note that no funds are going directly to Iran, and U.S. taxpayer money is not involved in the exchange.

Pahlavi voiced skepticism about the outcome of releasing funds to the Iranian regime, citing past experiences during the Obama administration when similar funds were released. He pointed out that the funds did not serve the interests of the Iranian people but were used to finance the regime’s proxies in Syria and Lebanon. He expressed doubt that the situation would be any different this time.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has stated that the Iranian government will use the $6 billion gained in the prisoner exchange “wherever we need it.” Pahlavi argued that such funds are unlikely to benefit the Iranian people and will likely strengthen the regime’s hold on power.

Pahlavi also questioned the impact of the negotiation on the Iranian people, suggesting that it may be disheartening for them to witness the leading global superpower, represented by the current administration, rewarding hostage-takers. He emphasized the need for a policy that directly supports the Iranian people rather than indirectly aiding the regime.

Under the terms of the deal, Iran will access the funds through Qatar’s central bank, with assurances that the funds will be used for humanitarian purposes. Pahlavi urged for a more direct approach, suggesting that humanitarian aid should be provided directly to the Iranian people rather than channeled through a regime with a history of suppressing dissent.

Iran has not provided a public timeline for the release of the American prisoners, although President Raisi has stated that they are in good health and will be released in “due time.” The U.S. Department of State has not yet responded to requests for comment on the matter.

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