The White House has remained silent on any future relationship with Iran in light of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist leaders claiming Iran helped plan the surprise attacks against Israel.
Fox News Digital reached out to the White House at least three times this week inquiring if the U.S. would participate in negations and return to the nuclear deal if evidence is found that Iran helped plan the brutal attacks against Israel. The White House’s press office ultimately referred Fox News Digital to the National Security Council Monday, which did not respond to the inquiry.
News broke Sunday that Iranian security officials allegedly approved Hamas’ plan to attack Israel during a meeting in Beirut last Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported. Hamas and Hezbollah leaders said Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps worked with Hamas since August on air, land and sea attack plans.
Following the report, U.S. leaders said they have not found direct evidence of Iran planning the attacks in coordination with Hamas but noted that Iran has long supported Hamas, and the nation holds “a degree of complicity” in the attacks.
“We are looking through the information streams. We haven’t seen hard, tangible evidence that Iran was directly involved in participating in or resourcing and planning these sets of complex attacks that Hamas pulled off over the weekend,” Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council John Kirby said Tuesday, something echoed later on in the day by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who again stressed that the U.S. has no evidence that Iran knew about the attacks in advance or that it helped Hamas.
Both Sullivan and Kirby’s comments this week echo what a U.S. official told Fox News Digital on Sunday evening, that “of course” Iran is in the picture, but that U.S. officials currently do not have information corroborating the report.
When asked specifically about the future of the U.S. relationship with Iran, however, the White House has not said if leaders would return to the negotiating table for the Iran nuclear deal or if the U.S. strategy with Iran will change in light of terrorist leaders claiming Iran helped with the attacks.
World powers, including the U.S. and the United Kingdom, reached a nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, formerly known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, after years of international tensions that Iran was working to build a nuclear bomb. The agreement limited some of Iran’s nuclear activities, while allowing international authorities to carry out inspections. Sanctions on Tehran were lifted in exchange.
Former President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement in 2018 after slamming it as “defective at its core.”
“At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction, that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful, nuclear energy program,” Trump said at the time. “Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie.”
Under the Biden administration, officials have signaled they hope to return to the deal if Iran comes back into compliance.
“The JCPOA has not been on our agenda since September, when Iran turned its back on a deal that was on the table, but we are still very much open to diplomacy,” a State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital back in April.
The Biden administration has also come under scrutiny this week for a $6 billion prisoner swap deal with Iran last month. Republicans have claimed that the money helped free up resources to fund the attacks, though Biden administration leaders have pushed back on the claims.
“I think it’s important for people to remember that not a single dollar … of those funds has gone into Iran,” Kirby told Fox News’ Bret Baier on “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday. “Not one… not any. Nothing’s been allocated out of that fund, and we’re going to watch it.”
Chaos broke out in Israel early Saturday morning when Hamas launched attacks that took the nation by surprise. The terrorist organization has since fired more than 4,500 rockets at residential areas from the Gaza Strip, which has contributed to killing an estimated 1,000 Israelis and injuring thousands of others.
The U.S. confirmed that 14 Americans are among those killed in Israel, and an undisclosed number of other Americans are unaccounted for and being held hostage under Hamas terrorists.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has meanwhile praised the attacks on social media, saying at the beginning of the war, the “Zionist regime will be eradicated at the hands of the Palestinian people and the Resistance forces throughout the region,” WSJ reported.