White House Won’t Commit to Freezing Billions in Prisoner Swap Funds if Iran Was Directly Involved in Attacks on Israel

On Monday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Katy Tur Reports,” White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby stated that Iran is “complicit” in funding terrorism but wouldn’t commit to refreezing the $6 billion unfrozen by the prisoner swap with Iran if it turns out Iran was directly involved in the attacks and stated “that money is Iranian money, and it can only be used with approved vendors for humanitarian purposes.”

Kirby stated that while there isn’t yet any specific intelligence of direct participation by Iran in the attack, Iran has been a supporter of terrorism for a long time, and “in that regard, clearly, Iran’s complicit here.”

Host Katy Tur then asked, “You have told me that the money that was unfrozen for Iran, that $6 billion, is not cash that gets handed to Iran, it is aid that gets handed — material aid, medical supplies, etc. It’s never going to be cash. If our intelligence community does find that Iran had a hand in this, a direct hand in this attack, does that $6 billion, that aid, get refrozen?”

Kirby responded, “I’m not able to get ahead of where we are and speculate about any policy decisions coming down the pike here. We just don’t have any intel. or evidence that points to Iran’s direct participation in these attacks. We’re obviously going to take a look at this, though, Katy. We’re going to take a look at this as deep and wide as we can to see if there’s anything there. But I don’t want to get ahead of knowledge we don’t have and then translate that into policy decisions. But you’re right, that money is Iranian money, and it can only be used with approved vendors for humanitarian purposes. The Iranian people will get the benefit of the medical supplies, the agricultural products, the food, that kind of thing. The Iranian regime will never be able to touch any of those funds.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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