During an interview aired on Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” U.S. Special Representative for Iran Robert Malley, the chief negotiator in talks on the Iran nuclear deal said that if a deal is reached, Iran would gain access to assets and would be able to sell oil and gain revenue from it, but wouldn’t give an amount because doing so “would be highly speculative.” Malley said that in the absence of a deal, Iran has engaged in “more aggressive regional behavior.”

“NewsHour” Foreign Affairs and Defense Correspondent Nick Schifrin asked, “On sanctions relief, how much relief would Iran get? One analysis by an organization that, of course, opposes you reentering the deal says Iran would gain access to tens of billions of dollars of central bank assets that are currently frozen and be able to sell tens of billions of dollars more of oil.”

Malley responded, “Well, listen, I’m not going to give you a number, because that’s — that would be highly speculative. But I can say there are assets that have been frozen, assets, money that Iran collected at a time when the sanctions were not in place, and that are now in bank accounts across the globe. They would be able to have access to those if they come back into compliance with the nuclear deal. And, of course, they’d be able to sell oil, which they’re not able to do now, and to get the proceeds from the sale of oil. But, again, let’s remember why those sanctions were put in place. Those sanctions were put in place to get Iran to agree to curb its nuclear program and to make sure that Iran cannot acquire a nuclear weapon. And we’ve lived the opposite. We’ve lived, it’s not a thought experiment, for the last several years, since President Trump decided to withdraw from the deal, we’ve seen Iran with an unconstrained nuclear program and with more aggressive regional behavior. So, that experiment has failed.”

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