President Donald Trump blamed his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, on Wednesday for funding the missiles Iran launched against the United States.
“The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration,” Trump said, referring to the $150 billion returned to the Tehran regime under Obama as part of the Iran nuclear deal.
Iran launched more than a dozen military missiles on Tuesday, targeting American bases in Iraq as a military response to Trump’s decision to kill Iranian Quds force commander Qasem Soleimani last week.
Trump said that Iran’s hostilities in the Middle East only increased after Obama’s “foolish” 2013 nuclear deal, noting that Iran used the funds to back a campaign of terror around the world.
“Iran went on a terror spree, funded by the money from the deal, and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq,” he said.
In 2016, then-Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged that some of the billions returned to Iran could end up being used for terrorist activities.
“I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists,” he said in a CNBC interview in January 2016. “You know, to some degree, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented.”
In his speech Wednesday, Trump criticized “all nations” for allowing Iran to continue its damaging acts of terrorism around the world since 1979.
“Iran has been the leading sponsor of terrorism, and their pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens the civilized world,” Trump said. “We will never let that happen.”