Iran is a "thugocracy" that the United States has validated by awarding it with $6 billion in a hostage agreement that will be spent however it wishes, retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt said on Newsmax Sunday.
"The regime is holding a great people, the Iranian people, captive," Holt said on Newsmax's "Sunday Report." "They foment terrorism around the world. They foment terrorism just on our southern border."
But the Biden administration has awarded the Iranian regime while relying on Qatar to promise that the money will be used for humanitarian reasons, he said.
"The supreme leader himself said, 'We're going to spend this money on whatever we want to spend it on,' which means nuclear weapons," said Holt.
Retired Air Force Special Operations Cmdr. Glenn Ignazio, appearing on the program, pointed out the dangers of nuclear power in the Middle East, noting that if it is "going to grow with nuclear capabilities, it's going to be a cauldron that boils up and overflows at a point that it's going to cause more conflict in that region."
And, with the money going to Iran, "it is a problem for the entire region and it's not going to be good for anybody," said Ignazio.
Meanwhile, the money paid out to Iran "imperils every single American around the world," as it will encourage other countries to act out, said Holt.
"North Korea had been doing this about 15 years ago, but again, we're projecting a weakness," said Holt. "When you project a weakness [like] we have on this stage for a couple of years, defeat after defeat, and then you couple it with giving a rogue state money, that may push Israel into a place where they have no choice about a preemptive war."
Ignazio also spoke out about President Joe Biden's meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly last week, calling it a "snub" to meet him anywhere but the White House.
"It was a hotel, so I thought that was very disrespectful as far as the alliance and the relationship we have with Israel," he said. "Israel has always been a strong partner and ally for years, and I hope that's not going to deteriorate, but things are definitely in question … it's definitely not the way we should operate on the global stage."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also addressed the General Assembly last week, blasting the U.S. and its allies on claims of stoking international conflict, but Holt said he does not see that as an indication that Russia is backed into a wall with its war against Ukraine.
Instead, he said he thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle are under pressure to finish the war.
"But on our side, we don't even check that rhetoric," he said. "We don't even have a statement of our own."
Further, the parties should have met while they were in New York City to try to find some common ground to bring the war to an end, Holt commented.
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Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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