Iranian state-run media in Tehran did indeed videotape the arrival of a January 17 flight carrying $400 million in cash from the United States – and the money itself – judging from a documentary that aired the following month in the Islamic republic.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been in a firestorm of controversy since first claiming on Wednesday to have seen ‘secret’ footage of money being offloaded from an aircraft.
He admitted Friday morning on Twitter what his campaign had said more than a day earlier, that he had seen ordinary archival footage of a different plane, carrying American hostages freed from Iran arriving in Geneva Switzerland after the money changed hands.
But it turns out he may have been right without knowing it.
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The Iranian video was aired February 15 on the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting television network, as part of a documentary called ‘Rules of the Game.’
A narrator, speaking in Persian, describes a money-for-hostages transaction over video clips of a plane on an airport tarmac in the dead of night and a photo of a giant shipping pallet stacked with what appear to be banknotes.
The federal government shipped what many are calling a ransom payment in Euros and other non-U.S. currencies.
The copy of the documentary footage DailyMail.com obtained is not of high enough quality to determine which nation’s banknotes are depicted.
None of the footage is stamped with a date or time, making it impossible to know when it was shot.
And the broadcaster blurred out one portion of the screen, covering up something resting on top of the mountain of money.
But the documentary begins with a narration saying: ‘In the early morning hours of January 17, 2016 at Mehrabad Airport, $400 million in cash was transported to Iran on an airplane.’
The film describes the Obama administration’s prisoner swap and Iran’s cash windfall from Tehran’s point of view as ‘a win-lose deal that benefits the Islamic Republic of Iran and hurts the United States,’ according to two English-language translations DailyMail.com obtained.