Nader Modanlo was accused of taking an illegal $10 million payment from Iran. “U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein said the evidence against Modanlo had been disclosed in court and proved ‘beyond any reasonable doubt that Mr. Modanlo secretly helped Iran launch a satellite for $10 million.’” The U.S. dropped the $10 million claim against him as part of the recent prisoner swap, thereby annoying Modanlo, who wanted to appeal his conviction. But Modanlo is free in any case, and the larger issue here is that it appears that the Obama Administration will stop at absolutely nothing and make any concession it can possibly make in order to appease the Iranian mullahs.
Nader Modanlo was facing five more years in federal prison when he got an extraordinary offer: U.S. President Barack Obama was ready to commute his sentence as part of this month’s historic and then still-secret prisoner swap with Iran. He said no.
To sweeten the deal, the U.S. administration then dropped a claim against the Iran-born aerospace engineer for $10 million that a Maryland jury found he had taken as an illegal payment from Iran, according to interviews with Modanlo, lawyers involved and U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter.
The surrender of the U.S. claim, which has not previously been reported, could add to scrutiny of how the Obama administration clinched a prisoner deal that has drawn criticism from Republican presidential candidates and lawmakers.
A Washington-based spokesman for the Justice Department declined to comment on discussions over the $10 million, which the jury found that Modanlo was paid to help Iran launch its first satellite in 2005. Modanlo says the money was a loan from a Swiss company for a telecoms deal.
Continue reading below…