US

Feds Admit Iran Is Suddenly More Interested In Capturing Americans

REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood/File Photo

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Jonah Bennett Contributor
Font Size:

Americans were warned Monday to avoid traveling to Iran as the country is now much more intently focused on capturing and detaining U.S. citizens.

This risk is particularly escalated for dual citizen Iranian-Americans, according to the Department of State, the agency making the initial warning.

“Foreigners, in particular dual nationals of Iran and Western countries including the United States, continue to be detained or prevented from leaving Iran,” the statement reads. “U.S. citizens traveling to Iran should very carefully weigh the risks of travel and consider postponing their travel. U.S. citizens residing in Iran should closely follow media reports, monitor local conditions, and evaluate the risks of remaining in the country.”

The statements comes at an uncomfortable time, as the Obama administration has insisted that the $400 million in cash it sent to Iran was not actually a ransom payment for the release of Americans hostages. But the State Department subsequently clarified this line by noting it held onto the cash as a form of “leverage,” which several members of Congress interpreted as an admission that the payment was actually a ransom all along.

Republican Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said the admission essentially encourages Iran and other countries to take even more Americans hostage and then try to pull in millions of dollars in exchange for release.

“It was ransom. We now know it was ransom,” Royce said. “And on top of that it put more American lives at risk. And we’ve emboldened Iran. We’ve encouraged them, frankly, to take more hostages and put more American lives at risk of being taken hostage.”

The Department of State admitted in the travel warning that the “U.S. government’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in Iran in the event of an emergency is extremely limited” and also advised U.S. citizens living in Iran to have “updated documentation” and be ready to “make their own plans in the event of an emergency.”

Iran isn’t the only country that is increasingly predatory, following the payment to Iran.

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte recently remarked that all it takes to extract money out of the U.S. is to insult the country and hope U.S. officials come running to make amends with funds.

“After Kerry visited the Philippines, he left us $33 million,” Duterte told an audience at Camp Lapu Lapu. “I told myself, ‘this seems cool. Let’s take a swipe at them again so they will make amends with money.'”

Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

Send tips to jonah@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.