Pelosi on Iran Sanctions Relief: ‘They May’ Do Bad Things With The Money

• January 13, 2016 9:00 am


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Wednesday on CNN that Iran "may" get up to more bad acts with its sanctions relief through the Iran nuclear deal, but the price was worth it for the country to be off its nuclear course.

Iran, the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism, has committed aggressions against the U.S. since the deal was struck last July, and it continues to hold American hostages. As part of the nuclear deal, Iran will receive $150 billion in unfrozen assets if it fulfills its obligations.

"We do hear that the implementation of the Iran plan, the monitoring of its nuclear activity, will begin as soon as this weekend," host Chris Cuomo said. "Is that true, and if so, how does it begin?"

"There are all these phases of the plan, the adoption, of course the passing of the legislation," Pelosi said. "We're very proud of what it is. I think it's really important for the American people to realize, though, that the money that is being released is Iranian money held in other banks, not in U.S. banks. So it isn't about us giving them anything. It's about them having access to their own money if they meet the terms of the agreement."

Cuomo cited the enormous figure going to Iran in the form of sanctions relief.

"People hear the number $150 billion," Cuomo said. "They don't care anymore about where it's coming [from] or whose banks. You are giving fuel to the Iranian fire. Fair criticism?"

"It's their money, and sanctions were there for a reason," Pelosi said.

"Because they do bad things with the money," Cuomo said.

"Yeah, well they may," Pelosi said. "And they have lots of needs in their own economy that they'll have to invest in. They have been doing bad things with the money that they have, but the fact is the biggest threat to all of us is that Iran would have a nuclear weapon. We have taken them off that course. How much is that worth, of their own money?"