Blaine Holt Tells Newsmax: Iran Determined the Ransom for Hostages

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Hamas is going to detain American hostages because of the premium they command for negotiations and the Biden administration is to blame for that, retired Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt told Newsmax Wednesday.

“You’ve got an administration that when they finally kicked and screamed and got their way and got this cease-fire — and we certainly don’t begrudge one hostage coming out; that’s wonderful news — but when they got their way, they didn’t place American hostages in any kind of priority … So for all their efforts we still have American hostages held down,” Holt told Newsmax’s “American Agenda.”

“The reason is because not a month and a half ago we set a precedent with Iran by paying $1.2 billion a person. This is all an Iranian-led op from the get-go, and nobody should … shy away from that fact.

“What Hamas is going to do for their survival is they’re very likely to hold on to the Americans for as long as they can because of the premium that they command in terms of negotiable leverage. And they know that the order is out for their necks, that they’re going to be done, so says Israel. So what better way to prolong Hamas is alive and survive if you’ve got Americans to negotiate with for when we just proved what the going rate would be,” he added.

The United States waived sanctions to allow the transfer of $6 billion in Iranian funds from South Korea to Qatar, a step needed to carry out a previously announced U.S.-Iran prisoner swap, according to a U.S. document seen by Reuters on Monday.

The broad outlines of the U.S.-Iran deal under which five U.S. citizens detained by Iran would be allowed to leave in exchange for the transfer of the funds and the release of five Iranians held in the United States were made public on Aug. 10.

Information from Reuters was used in this report. 


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Solange Reyner |

Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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