‘Blood money’: Iranian strategist suggests ransoming US hostages ‘to solve the sanctions problem’

A top political strategist and Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps officer told supporters that Iran should kidnap hostages and ransom them back to the United States for “blood money.”

“Here’s how the IRGC generates funds. The IRGC detains a spy like Jason Rezaian,” Hassan Abbasi can be heard saying in a video that surfaced on Wednesday. “The U.S. pleads for him to be released, and we ask them to pay for him. Our government gets paid $1.7 billion to hand over this spy. By detaining one spy, the IRGC earns the $1-2 billion, which it was supposed to receive from the government budget.”

Rezaian is an Iranian American journalist who served
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