To this date the American public has not been advised of the side deals that the Obama administration made with Iran to announce its agreement to the JCPOA. A complete accounting of these side deals remains classified, so I am reliably informed. Jay Solomon has reported that the side deals Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated were largely about infusing Iran with more cash and investment. Here is what Solomon came up with in 2016 supplemented by Josh Meyer’s Politico report (linked below):
1.) $1.7 Billion: The Obama administration initially said the cash shipments had nothing to do with the nuclear talks or the prisoners. But it was clear in the end, that everything — the nuke deal, the prisoners, the cash — were all interconnected (here).
2.) Missile Proliferation: In one of the classic side deals, the Obama administration agreed to get two Iranian state banks off the UN sanctions list, even though they were blacklisted for missile development. The Americans had said they wouldn’t ease sanctions on companies that were engaged in missile proliferation. But these two state banks were too important for the Iranian economy (here).
3.) Investment in Europe: Kerry signed a letter as part of the JCPOA (which was never made public), which committed the US to aid European investment in Iran. Certain parts of the deal were never declassified. Solomon wrote about Kerry’s touring of Europe in 2016 to urge foreign banks to go back into Iran (here).
4.) Criminal Activity: This one may not have been committed to paper, but the Obama administration definitely scaled back investigations into Iran’s and Hezbollah’s illicit activities as the Iran deal was concluded (see Josh Meyer’s astounding Politico report here).
5.) Syria: One of Solomon’s major arguments in his book on Iran was that the Obama administration didn’t go into Syria because of the Iran nuke negotiations. Obama administration officials always denied this, but Solomon heard this directly from Iranian officials (see here).
All this to induce the Iranian regime’s agreement to a deal that funded and facilitated the regime’s path to development of nuclear weapons in ten years, or an earlier time of its choosing.
NOTE: Solomon’s 2016 book — The Iran Wars: Spy Games, Bank Battles, and the Secret Deals That Reshaped the Middle East — remains essential reading.