President Trump took direct aim at former President Barack Obama on Wednesday, blaming the last administration for giving Iran money that he claimed was then used by Tehran to pay for missiles that were aimed at U.S. troops in Iraq.
“The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration,” Trump said from the White House, referring to settlement money the U.S. paid to Iran in 2016.
Trump addressed the nation the morning after the Iranian regime launched more than a dozen missiles at bases in Iraq that housed U.S. troops. That was in retaliation for the U.S. strike last week that took out top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
In his remarks, he pointed the finger at the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) from which the U.S. withdrew in 2018. While supporters of the deal claimed it kept Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, Trump on Wednesday renewed his assertion that it emboldened Tehran.
“Iran’s hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013, and they were given $150 billion, not to mention $1.8 billion in cash,” he said. “Instead of saying thank you to the United States, they chanted ‘Death to America.’”
He went on to say that Iran went on a “terrorist spree” with that money “and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq.” It was with that money that the missiles fired late Tuesday were funded, he claimed.