HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — That $400 million payment to Iran has now become an issue in the Connecticut U.S. Senate campaign.
The fact that there was a $400 million payment to the government of Iran last January at the same time that four hostages were released to the U.S. has brought denials from the White House that it was a ransom payment. The White House says it was part of Iranian funds that were frozen in U.S. banks by the Jimmy Carter Administration back in 1979, when Iranian revolutionaries held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.
Republican State Rep. Dan Carter of Bethel says this is part of the reason many people don’t trust anyone in Washington and he’s using it as a way to get some traction in his uphill campaign against Democratic U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, saying he’s part of the problem.
We had to do this payment in the middle of the night. It’s almost like a spy novel, you know, unmarked bills, and it really calls into question what we’re doing negotiating with these people in the first place,” – State Rep. Dan Carter.
But Blumenthal says he is also leery of the timing.
“I have concerns about the timing and appearance. I’m going to be asking additional questions and seeking a full briefing,” said Blumenthal.
Carter has long been questioning Blumenthal’s vote in the Senate approving the Iran Nuclear deal.
“The Iran deal, we all know is a bad deal. Even Blumenthal is queasy over it and squishy because he knows it’s a mistake,” said Carter.
But Blumenthal says he still supports the Nuclear Agreement.
“The centrifuges have been removed. The reactor has been filled with concrete and the enriched uranium has been shipped out of the country,” said Blumenthal.
Blumenthal also says he is seeking further sanctions against Iran.
The last Quinnipiac Poll showed Blumenthal beating Carter two to one. Carter has been seeking to debate Senator Blumenthal before the election, but so far none have been scheduled.