Author Topic: Obama warns of lone-wolf attacks and says U.S. didn’t pay ransom to Iran  (Read 371 times)

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Offline onomesandra
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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Thursday that Islamic State militants will probably continue to be a threat to the U.S. even after the group is ousted from key strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

The group may continue to inspire people to carry out lone wolf-type attacks on subways or parades to sow fear and elevate its profile, the president said. The U.S. and its NATO allies must not succumb to fear and should “keep on grinding away” against the group.

Obama spoke to reporters after meeting with his national security team at the Pentagon.

He also criticized Russia for its continuing support of Syrian government attacks against opposition forces and its sieges of populated areas like Aleppo.

The Russian actions raise “very serious questions” about Moscow’s commitment to pulling the situation “back from the brink,” said Obama.

He said the U.S. will continue to try to cooperate with Russia to reduce the violence and focus the fight on the Islamic State group and other extremists.

At the wide-ranging press conference, President Obama also expressed surprise at criticism of his administration’s $400 million cash payment to Iran to settle a longstanding legal claim, adamantly rejecting claims that it was a ransom paid for the release of four Americans held in Iran.
“This wasn’t some nefarious deal,” Obama told reporters. He pointed out that the payment, along with an additional $1.3 billion in interest to be paid later, was announced by the administration publicly when it was concluded in January, a day after the implementation of a landmark nuclear agreement with Iran. “It wasn’t a secret. We were completely open about it.”
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