Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said this week that the policies of the Biden White House emboldened Iran and in turn strengthened the terrorist organization Hamas, which carried out the recent terrorist attack in Israel. The presidential candidate’s comments come as a number of Republicans and some Democrats criticized the administration’s approach to Tehran.
Haley said during a CNN interview Sunday that “what Hamas did was beyond thuggish, brutal, and sick. What the Iranian regime is doing to help them is terrible, but let’s look back at what did Biden do? Biden turned around and fell all over himself to get back into the Iran deal.
“Obama did it before that,” she said.
“You gave all of this money, and you empowered Iran to go and strengthen Hamas, strengthen Hezbollah, strengthen the Houthis to spread their terrorist activity,” Haley said. “Biden has loosened the sanctions. Now we’ve got the fact that he gave $6 billion in hostage money.”
Haley referenced the agreement announced last month to exchange $6 billion in seized Iranian assets in exchange for five Americans held in that country. She said that while the Biden administration had frozen the transfer of the funds, there is currently an unknown number of Americans held hostage by Hamas in Gaza.
“If you gave them $6 billion for five people and released hostages, guess what? They’re going to be asking for all of these others that we have,” she said. “So we created this scenario where you’ve given the Iranian regime too much power and too much pull to be able to do this.”
Haley further said that “we’ve got to have Israel’s back” and to help the country as “they hit back as well.”
Every dollar Iran gets goes to terrorism. It’s time to bring Iran to its knees. pic.twitter.com/qvzqFWKZ0U
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) October 10, 2023
“Every dollar Iran gets goes to terrorism. It’s time to bring Iran to its knees,” the candidate wrote on social media.
Haley’s comments came after Iran’s foreign minister met with the head of Hamas in Qatar, where the $6 billion in assets were to be held.