The US knew this was fake, because the Federal government had seized it... for being fake.
A fake from a fake for a fake.
Obama ran for office promising masterful diplomacy. The reality has been less savvy diplomat and more pathetic loser. Hillary Clinton's Reset Button with Russia was a dumb Bush-bashing gimmick and it was also misspelled.
That set the tone for the long-running comedy of errors in which Obama Inc. blended appeasement with dumb gimmicks and somehow managed to screw them up.
The ancient artifact it shouldn't have given to Iran... proved not to be so ancient after all.
Sometimes an ancient artifact symbolizes more than its admirers necessarily imagine. Take for example the silver griffin that was returned by the United States to Iran as a gesture of respect and—at least according to tea-leaf readers—a sign of an emerging thaw between the two nations.
There’s only one problem: It’s a fake.
Not only is it a fake, it’s a bad fake.
Not only was it a bad fake. But the US government knew it was a bad fake. But the State Department chose not to know.
A definitive publication by retired Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Oscar White Muscarella clearly demonstrates that what is alleged by even the U.S. State Department to be a 2,700-year-old artifact from Iran is actually a modern fake, dating back to, at the earliest, 1999.
But when the griffin arrived in New York in 2003, one of the Iranian-Swiss dealers was arrested by the Department of Homeland Security on the charge of falsifying the object’s place of origin. The next year he pleaded guilty to falsely stating that the griffin had originated in Syria rather than Iran and received one year of probation and a fine of $5,000. The buyer got her money back. The artifact was seized but the market, the game, was barely disturbed.
Then the griffin went into Homeland Security’s deep freeze, residing in a Queens warehouse until this fall.
So the US knew this was fake, because the Federal government had seized it... for being fake. And gave it to Iran. In exchange for fake offers of peace.
From someone smarter than Obama, that might have been a clever dig. The British, once upon a time, might have done it that way. But Obama and his people are just arrogant idiots.