Appearing on MSNBC, former Secretary of State John Kerry called it an outright lie by President Trump that Iran was given $150 billion.
He also accused Trump of running the risk of war over his “anti-Obamaism.”
It is an outright lie, an outright lie by the president of the United States that they were given $150 billion. They were not. And the money that they did receive was their money because they sued the United States of America and won in court and were being paid interest.
So American citizens were paying interest every single day that was accruing. More and more billions of dollars that were going to go to Iran. We cut that short. We negotiated a deal that greatly reduced the amount of money they were, in fact, supposed to receive under court order, and they would have received it eventually. And we transferred that to them, most of which they owed to other countries and other people in a massive debt that Iran had accrued. So the fact is that he has lied about that.
We are not safer because this president has been willing to personally invoke his anti-Obamaism to such a degree that he’s run the risk of war. That response by Iran could have been significantly different. and it is not right for the president of the united states to put the united states in a position where we are dependent on a regime that we don’t like to somehow behave in a way that saves this president from himself.
Politifact analyzed a similar statement by President Trump.
This was their ruling:
Trump said that the nuclear deal with Iran gave the country $150 billion, including $1.8 billion from the United States in cash.
The $150 billion is the highest estimate we’ve seen, and the one with the least evidence to support it. The high-end estimate from the U.S. Treasury Department in 2015 was $56 billion, and outside analysts believe the number could be lower.
The $1.8 billion is reasonably accurate. The official amount is $1.7 billion. However, there’s no evidence that barrels and boxes were involved.
We rate this claim Half True.
As Algemeiner, citing Omri Ceren of the Israel Project, notes, the twelve-figure estimate of the money the deal would return to Iranian control came from President Barack Obama, not Republicans. President Obama said in an interview that Iran “has $150 billion parked outside the country,” arguing that not all of its funds under sanctions will be unfrozen immediately because “unwinding the existing restraints… takes a certain amount of time.”