This article originally appeared on WND.com
Guest by post by Bob Unruh
After he pays more than $1 billion per hostage to Iran
Westerners, especially Americans, are facing a surging threat of being abducted and held for ransom by Iran, and other “hostile governments” just about anywhere, according to a new report published at the Gatestone Institute.
Because of Joe Biden.
“We can now expect the Iranian regime to arrest or abduct more Americans anywhere it can. Collecting hostages is now big business. Other hostile governments will most likely be tempted to abduct Americans, as well,” warned Majid Rafizadeh, a Harvard-educated scholar and political scientist who is a board member of Harvard International Review and president of the International American Council on the Middle East.
He cited recent abductions by Iran’s regime of Topher Richwhite and Bridget Thackwray from New Zealand, Johan Floderus, a European diplomat from Sweden and Bernard Phelan from France detained in October 2022.”
He said the escalation in hostage-taking shouldn’t be a surprise, partly because the Belgian government recently reached a deal with Iran concerning hostages.
“Even though Iran is a party to the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, the Islamist regime has long violated it, as it has other commitments, by taking foreign hostages as pawns to extract economic concessions and achieve geopolitical and financial gains,” he said.
Its “biggest victory” came when Joe Biden paid out $6 billion, and released a bunch of Iranian nationals serving prison time in the U.S., in exchange for five Iranian-Americans who were imprisoned in Iran.
He noted that Iranians actually boasted that the prison sentences for the five were “about to end anyway” just as Biden was paying more than a billion dollars each.
Now more hostage-taking can be predicted, he said.
“Thanks to the Biden administration’s continual appeasement of the Iranian regime, the mullahs have also rapidly advanced their nuclear weapons program, increasing the enrichment of uranium to 84%, just a shade below the 90% level needed for nuclear weapons. Secret attempts by the Biden administration to reach an interim deal with the mullahs have threatened to add not only an estimated $100 billion into Iran’s economy, but also, worse, to catapult an Iranian nuclear menace onto the world,” he warned.
His prediction followed similar comments from Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who explained, “If we’re paying a billion dollars per kidnapped individual, then you’re going to see more kidnappings. That’s why you don’t negotiate with terrorists, that’s why you don’t negotiate with kidnappers. The idea of basically paying to release, in this effect, a hostage is a terrible idea. Remember back in the Reagan years, we had — was it — guns for hostages, that was the story, remember that? This is a billion dollars for a hostage.”
It was report at the Middle East Media Research Institute that noted an Iranian security official bragged, “This exchange operation is in fact one of the most successful and effective negotiation [efforts] ever to happen to the Islamic Republic of Iran. In essence, we released a few Iranian prisoners in exchange for some prisoners whose sentences were about to end, and, on the other hand, we succeeded in releasing billions of dollars of our blocked resources without committing to anything else.”
During Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House, he had arranged a transfer of $1.7 billion to Iran’s rogue regime, so the price certainly has increased.
That was, at the time, to release five Iranian-American prisoners.
Then Iranian Vice President for Economic Affairs Mohsen Rezaee “told Iran’s Channel 2 in 2021 that he would capture 1,000 Americans, to earn the regime a trillion dollars by demanding $1 billion ransom for each hostage,” Rafizadeh explained.
It didn’t happen the same way with President Donald Trump, he noted, citing Saeed Ghasseminejad of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
He said, “The Trump administration secured prisoner releases without ransom payments, relying instead on just swaps. While exchanging people who have been guilty of nefarious activities such as sanctions-busting and proliferation with innocent American hostages is not ideal, it is still a better option than paying ransom.”
Rafizadeh explained the billions probably will go to designated terrorist organization the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to be used to capture more Americans, deliver weapons to Russia and crush domestic dissent.