Israel rejects Obama's latest remarks on Iran nuclear deal

US President Barack Obama denied that a US$400 million cash payment made to Iran earlier this year was ransom to secure the release of four Americans jailed in Tehran.

USA officials say the $400 million was the first installment of a settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran to solve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Obama was responding to the revelation, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, that $400 million of the settlement was delivered by plane to Iran in cash.

According to the paper, an unmarked cargo plane loaded with wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other foreign currencies was secretly flown into Iran on the same day the USA exchanged seven Iranians for four American citizens who had been detained.

Israeli security officials have said the deal reduces the threat for the time being, while Israel's political establishment continues to decry the deal as risky.

Critics of Obama and the Iran nuclear deal have said that the payment could amount to ransom.

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"The Israeli defense establishment believes that agreements have value only if they are based on the existing reality, but they have no value if the facts on the ground are the complete opposite of those the deal is based upon", the statement said.

Pence also linked Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonKaine: I think Clinton "would acknowledge" carelessness on email server Trump campaign expands OH operation: report Trump aide: Obama trying to "cover-up" Iran cash MORE, the Democratic presidential nominee, to President Obama's foreign policy struggles.

We doubt that's true of all the hundred-billion-plus in sanctions relief - and we know it's not true of the ransom payout.

"It would have worked against the interests of our taxpayers", he continued, "and with the nuclear deal done, the prisoners released, the time was right to take advantage of that and resolve the dispute in the way that it was resolved".

Kerry said he was not aware of any video of the arrival of a bundle of cash, as claimed by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Obama says the group may continue to inspire people to carry out lone wolf-type attacks on subways or parades to sow fear and elevate its profile.

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He noted he often meets with family members of other Americans being held hostage in other countries.

"We could not send them a check".

He said the settlement agreement ultimately saved USA taxpayers what could have been billions of dollars in additional interest.

"I woke up yesterday and I saw $400 million dollars, different currencies, they probably don't want our currency", Trump said Thursday in Portland, Maine.

Israel's defence ministry, lead by hardliner Avigdor Lieberman, on Friday compared the deal with Iran to the Munich agreement, which allowed Nazi Germany to annex parts of then Czechoslovakia. "And we could not wire the money", he said.

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