National Security

Haley: We’re Not Going to Pay for Reconstruction of Syria as Long as There Is Iranian Influence There

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on Sunday that the United States is not going to pay for the reconstruction of Syria as long as there is Iranian influence in the country.

CNN's "State of the Union" anchor Jake Tapper asked Haley about the Trump administration cutting funds to help rebuild Syria.

"In August, the Trump administration cut more than $200 million it was providing for stabilization assistance to reconstruct and rebuild Syria. How does that help refugees return to their homes in Syria at the same time the United States is cutting the number of refugees we are hitting here at home?" Tapper asked.

"We have made it very clear, we are not going to pay for reconstruction of Syria as long as there is Iranian influence there," Haley said. "We're not going to pay for reconstruction as long as ISIS has not been defeated, which we're almost there. We're not going to pay for reconstruction to help Russia out when this is their problem."

Haley added Russia took responsibility for what is happening in Syria and now has its hands out asking for money.

"What we're saying is there are a lot of things that have to happen before reconstruction is even talked about. And it's not just going to be the U.S.; other countries have to weigh in. Right now, you've got a very sensitive situation in Syria. And Russia has to step up. They took responsibility for this," Haley said. "They've got to manage it. They can't sit there and do whatever they want, allowing the Iranians to continue to have influence, when they're the biggest sponsor of terrorism, and then turn around and have their hand out, asking us for money."

Back in August, the Trump administration announced they would redirect $230 million that was intended for Syria redevelopment.