Fox News alleges that, according to reports by Iran’s state-controlled press, Iran is now seeking “many billions of dollars” from the United States in exchange for the release of several U.S. hostages who are still being detained in Iran. 

The debate over the Obama administration’s decision earlier this year to pay Iran $1.7 billion in cash, is reigniting. Since the White House agreed to pay Tehran the $1.7 billion as part of a deal to release American hostages, Iran has captured several more U.S. citizens. 

The regime’s president, and other senior Iranian officials, have been considering the possibility of further payments from the United States, which might reach as high as $2 billion.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Iran is detaining U.S. citizens in the notorious Evin prison where inmates are routinely tortured and abused.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, has been handling prisoner swaps with the United States, and news sources close to them report that Iran expects “many billions of dollars to release those U.S. citizens still being detained.” They say, “We should wait and see, the U.S. will offer … many billions of dollars to release.” 

They are referring to American businessman Siamak Namazi and his father Baquer, who were abducted after the United States paid Iran the $1.7 billion, according to the country’s Mashregh News outlet, which has close ties to the IRGC’s intelligence apparatus.