President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that the Obama administration granted 2,500 Iranians, including government officials, citizenship during the Iran nuclear deal negotiations, without any evidence it was true.
"Just out that the Obama administration granted citizenship, during the awful Iran Deal negotiation, to 2,500 Iranians - including to government officials", Trump tweeted. How big (and bad) is that?'
A senior cleric and member of parliament made the claim to a news agency in the country that was then picked up by Fox News.
When Obama was negotiating the Iran deal he made a decision to get on the good side of certain people.
"When Obama - during the negotiations about the JCPOA - chose to do a favor to these men, he granted citizenship to 2,500 Iranians and some officials started a competition over whose children could be part of these 2,500 Iranians", Zolnour asserted, according to Fox News.
Last week, reports emerged that India's oil ministry had told local refiners to get ready for a "drastic reduction or zero" oil imports from Iran, a sign that India-Tehran's second-largest oil customer after China-is bowing to pressure from the U.S.to reduce imports from Iran.
"The cleric's claim could, in the USA, fuel Republican complaints about the concessions made by the Obama administration during that period - including not just sanctions relief, but the $1.7 billion payment supposedly tied to a legal settlement that coincided with the 2016 release of American prisoners", Irvine pointed out. Especially given the fact that about 30 to 40 of them are studying overseas and the rest are enjoying life with [Iranian] people's money.
As Radio Farda reported, Zolnour has been working with other MPs to "prove that dual nationals have infiltrated the Iranian government".
"We will have to see if it is going to be good enough for the Iranians", the source added.
Neither the State Department nor Justice Department would comment on the allegations.
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Zolnour, a conservative Muslim who is in the inner circle of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that anywhere from 30 to 60 Iranian youth - whose parents serve with the Iranian government - now living while studying in the U.S.
The petition has garnered over 115,000 signatures.
Department for Homeland Security figures show that 13,114 Iranians received green cards in 2015, the year of the Iranian nuclear deal, while another 10,344 were naturalized that same year.
Trump condemned the deal as being too soft on Iran and not adequately addressing the revolutionary Shiite Muslim power's other activities in the Middle East.
The deal was promoted by Obama as "the best option" to (temporarily) keep Iran from wielding nuclear arms.
Yet Iran has been reported to have gone in the opposite direction, announcing a 150 percent increase in its military budget previous year, developing long-range missiles, armed drones, and cyber-warfare capabilities-while putting to use some of the up to $150 billion in assets overseas that had previously been frozen due to sanctions.
"In the current context of the withdrawal of the United States. and the intense negotiations between Iran and Europe to find a way to preserve this agreement", the trip "is of prime importance", Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said Saturday.
On Friday, the top diplomats from Britain, France, Germany, as well as China and Russian Federation will join Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna to discuss a "European incentive package and the solutions to preserve Iran nuclear deal after USA illegal action to withdraw", according to Iran's state-run news.
It has also emerged to what lengths Obama went to please the Iranian regime. Hojjat al-Islam Mojtaba Zolnour, head of the Nuclear Committee of Iran's parliamentary National Security Commission, told Etemad that Obama's offer even stoked "a competition among men and women over whose children could be part of these 2,500 Iranians" to travel to the U.S.