"They didn't just dismiss a bunch of innocent business guys", saidone former federal law enforcement supervisor centrally involved in the hunt for Iranian arms traffickers and nuclear smugglers.
These are people who were long time sleepers in the United States who were stealing technology to help Iran build its missiles, accuracy of missiles, which would then be used in the nuclear program.
As Jacobson explains, many knew the deal was no good, but President Obama and others wanted the deal for political reasons. The letter also said the administration will review whether to reimpose the US sanctions linked to the nuclear program despite Iran's compliance.
Numerous law enforcement officials at the center of the administration's counterproliferation efforts were not informed or consulted about the decision to release the 21 Iranians, per Politico.
The prisoner exchange that took place in January 2016 was meant to secure the implementation of the nuclear deal reached in 2015 between six major powers and Iran that swapped sanctions relief for a rollback of Iran's nuclear program, as well as gain the release of five Americans who were being held by the Islamic Republic. Obama's Justice Department prosecuted some of these individuals for posing a threat to national security. Another was serving an eight-year sentence for conspiring to supply Iran with satellite technology and hardware.
They were allegedly part of an illegal procurement network supplying Iran with US-made microelectronics with applications in surface-to-air and cruise missiles. USA officials even dropped their demand for $10 million which a jury said the aerospace engineer illegally received from Iran, the report says. Some were linked to Hezbollah, another was charged with trying to buy thousands of assault rifles to illegally import to Iran and still others were suspected of providing Iran with high-tech components for IEDs used to kill Americans in Iraq and equipment used to enrich uranium.
According to the Politico investigation, some current and former officials believe Loretta Lynch, who served as the nation's top law enforcement official at the time, "failed in her responsibility as attorney general to protect the integrity of the Justice Department's investigations and prosecutions from any political interference".
Royce said he was particularly alarmed about details in the story about how "Justice and State Department officials denied or delayed requests from prosecutors and agents to lure some key Iranian fugitives to friendly countries so that they could be arrested".
Last week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced a government-wide review of US policy towards Iran, citing "alarming and ongoing provocations that export terror and violence, destabilizing more than one country at a time".
Larry 'Google' Page has shown off his flying vehicle
It doesn't exactly look like the flying cars we saw in The Jetsons , but this is Larry Page's vision of futuristic transportation. The first version of the Kitty Hawk Flyer , shown off in a video released today, is designed specifically to fly above water.
New York City Plans to Expand Preschool to 3-Year-Olds
That means an additional $226 million dollars that had been promised for preschool programs may not materialize. De Blasio said his city hopes to launch a pilot of the "3-K" program next fall year at a cost of $36 million.
Tied at 2: Gasol lifts Grizzlies past Spurs 110-108 in OT
Gasol hit the game victor but it was point guard Mike Conley doing his best to keep up with Leonard and help them even the series. Memphis went into the frame with a 74-71 lead after the Spurs battled back from a nine-point deficit in third quarter.