Wasserman Schultz Can’t Guarantee Iran Nuclear Deal Money Won’t Go to Attacking Israel

• August 14, 2016 11:02 am


Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) couldn't guarantee money Iran got through President Obama's landmark nuclear deal wouldn't go to financing terror attacks against Israel during her debate Sunday against primary challenger Tim Canova.

Iran funds fanatical anti-Israel groups like Hamas and Hezbollah and is the largest state sponsor of terror in the world.

Debate moderator Jim DeFede brought up the $1.7 billion Iran got in January as part of a failed arms deal settlement, which included a $400 million cash payment on an unmarked cargo plane that critics charged was effectively a ransom and tied to the nuclear agreement. Iran freed four hostages on the same day it got the cash.

DeFede misspoke about the amounts of money allocated to Iran through the nuclear deal, which is more than $100 billion in sanctions relief, but the crux of his question was whether Wasserman Schultz could guarantee that none of it would be used by Iran to finance terrorist attacks against the Jewish state.

"Can you guarantee that that money, that $1.8 billion that's part of the Iran deal, won't be used to finance terror against Israel?" DeFede asked. "Can you guarantee it?"

"You can never guarantee anything, Jim," she said.

Canova asked if he could interject, and Wasserman Schultz said, "No, you may not."

"What we need to do is make sure that we continue to strongly watch over and make sure that agreement remains fully implemented, which it has," she said. "Iran has been fully compliant, and now they are nearly 25 years from breakout, and what we also have to make sure now is that we can turn our attention—and what the Iran deal has allowed us to do—is turn our attention to going after Iran for their terrorist activity, making sure we can crack down on sanctions when they engage in their ballistic missile violations."

On that issue, the White House even said it was "likely" and "expected" Iran would use the sanctions relief money to fund terror.

Wasserman Schultz publicly agonized over her decision to support the Iran nuclear deal. When she announced her decision to back President Obama's signature foreign policy move, she told CNN tearfully that she had a "Jewish heart" and believed that the agreement was the best way to protect Israel, the Jewish state.

"There's nothing that's more important to me, as a Jew, than to ensure Israel's existence is there throughout our generations," she said last September. "I am confident that the process I've gone through to reach this decision is one that will ensure that Israel will be there forever."

Her race in Florida's 23rd congressional district has taken on national interest given that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has fundraised for Canova. Sanders repeatedly called for her resignation as DNC chair during the primary process, and hacked committee emails revealed Wasserman Schultz and other party officials openly disparaged his presidential run and sought to promote Clinton's.

She ultimately did resign her DNC chairmanship in July.

Note: This article has been updated.