by WorldTribune Staff, August 5, 2016
Iranian authorities were awaiting the arrival of another plane before they released four Americans, one of the hostages said.
Saeed Abedini said on the Aug. 4 broadcast of the Fox Business Network’s “The Intelligence Report with Trish Regan” that on the night in January he was freed, his Iranian captors told him they were waiting on another plane to arrive before letting him go.
“[T]hey told us you’re going to be there for 20 minutes. But it took like hours and hours,” Abedini said. “We slept at the airport, and when I asked them why you don’t let us go, because the plane was there, pilot was there, everyone was ready that we leave the country, they said we are waiting for another plane, and until that plane doesn’t come, we never let you go.”
Abedini was then asked: “Were they effectively waiting for the money to come in before they then let you take off?” He answered: “They didn’t talk about money. They just told us about the — they told me about the plane. … So, the reason that they said you’re here in the airport is — was just because we are waiting for another plane.”
Abedini was also asked if he believed a ransom was paid, to which he stated he was grateful for his freedom, but there are others still left behind in Iran.
U.S. President Barack Obama in a press conference from the Pentagon on Aug. 4 insisted the $400 million cash payment shipped in an unmarked plane to Iran on the day the hostages were released was not a “ransom payment.”