*Montel Williams is voicing serious displeasure of criticism President Barack Obama has received from Republicans running for president regarding how he managed to strike a deal with Iran to free four Iranian American prisoners.
News of the release surfaced Saturday morning, according to Mediaite, which noted that the deal Obama’s deal with the Irananian government included the release of seven Iranian prisoners on Saturday in exchange for the group of Americans, which included Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and Marine Amir Hekmati.
Hekmati’s capture ignited the #FreeAmir movement in early 2012. Prior to his release, Hekmati was imprisoned in Iran for more than 3 ½ years.
In a statement released Saturday, the Hekmati family thanked supporters while acknowledging that “there are still many unknowns” that exist regarding the sitauton.
“We thank everyone for your thoughts during this time,” the family said. “There are still many unknowns. At this point, we are hoping and praying for Amir’s long-awaited return.”
Despite the Hekmati’s family thankfulness, Obama’s deal to free the prisoners hit a sour note with leadership in the GOP, who criticized the prisoner swap as well as the president’s longstanding nuclear agreement with Iran. Among the critics was Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who gave his opinion of the deal on Saturday.
“Governments are taking Americans hostage because they believe they can gain concessions from this government under Barack Obama,” Rubio stated to The Guardian’s Sabrina Siddiqui. “It’s an incentive for more people to do this in the future.”
Adding to the slamming was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who blasted Obama for offering prisoners in American custody in exchange for the Americans held by Iran.
“We shouldn’t have to swap prisoners… These folks were taken illegally in violation of international law and they should have been released without condition,” Christie expressed to The Washington Post.
Taking to social media, Williams came out swinging with fire for the GOP presidential hopefuls.
“It’s beyond irresponsible that some of the Republican candidates criticized the swap that will bring our hostages home this morning – beyond terrifying that they seem to so profoundly misunderstand the delicacy of these that they did so PRIOR to the hostages actually leaving Iran – so incompetent that it borders on disqualifying, Williams, a proud United States Marine Corps and U.S. Navy veteran said Saturday evening on Facebook.
Williams’ Facebook post marks his latest comments on the GOP leadership. The Post reports the added feedback from Williams came from Twitter, as he told the Republican haters on Twitter to “Sit the hell down and shut up,” among other things.
Beyond inappropriate for Republican candidates to criticize a deal to release hostages before they are home. Sit the hell down and shut up.
— Montel Williams (@Montel_Williams) January 16, 2016