WASHINGTON: Criticizing U.S. President Barack Obama over reports suggesting that the government paid USD 400 million to Iran in January for the release of Americans held as prisoners there, Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk said he is “acting like the drug dealer in chief.”
"We can't have the President of the United States acting like the drug dealer in chief. Giving clean packs of money to a ... state sponsor of terror. Those 500-euro notes will pop up across the Middle East. .... We're going to see problems in multiple (countries) because of that money given to them,” said Kirk.
He made the comments at a sit-down last week with the editorial board of The State Journal-Register, reports CNN.
The money was part of a previously announced settlement in a case stemming from money owed since 1979, but Washington used the payment as a “leverage” to ensure the prisoners' release.
Kirk has been highly critical of the administration on Iran, including the nuclear deal signed by the two countries last year.
The White House did not comment on Kirk’s remark.