Reuters International

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday defended the Obama administration's payment of $400 million in cash to Iran, denying it was a ransom for the release of American prisoners by Tehran.

"The United States does not pay ransoms," Kerry told a news conference in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires. He said the payment, which was part of a longstanding Iranian claim at the Iran-US Claims Tribunal in The Hague, was negotiated on a separate track from the Iran nuclear deal.

(Reporting by Gram Slatery. Writing by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Alden Bentley)

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