Sunday, 17 November 2019

Democrats gave Iran $150b, says Trump

Carlos Barria / Reuters

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump came up with another round of criticism against the Democratic Party on Twitter over its reluctance to allocate money for building the border wall from the US budget. Trump used the $150 billion dollars that former President Barack Obama allegedly gave Iran as an argument to convince the Democrats to spare $5 billion for the construction of the wall.

The $150 billion that Trump was referring to is the estimated value of Iranian assets that were unfrozen after the Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2015. According to another estimate by US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Iran gained access to $56 billion as a result of the deal. The Iranian central bank estimated an even smaller number – $29 billion in highly liquid assets.

Trump is currently embroiled in a standoff with Congress over funding for the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico, which he believes would stop the inflow of illegal migrants to the US. The funding needs the votes of several Democrats to pass, with the Trump administration striving to finish the deal before 2019, when Republicans will lose their majority in the House of Representatives.

Trump has threatened a partial government shutdown in case a deal isn’t reached by December 21, but the Democrats have passed a two-week stopgap spending bill in order to avert such a scenario. In a recent Twitter tirade against the Democrats’ reluctance to fund the wall, Trump warned that even if Congress doesn’t secure the funding, the US military would still finish the border wall.

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