Appearing Sunday on ABC’s This Week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) downplayed Iranians’ dissatisfaction with their national leaders, suggesting that protesters were on the streets for diverse reasons, including support for slain terror-military commander Qasem Soleimani.
A partial transcript is as follows:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: The question is how we get there. We’re seeing now demonstrations in the streets of Iran against the regime. Do you support those protesters and would it be a good thing if they brought the regime down?
HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: Well, the regime — the protesters are — are protesting, as I understand it, this brand of protesters, about the fact that that plane went down. And many students were on that plane. And these are largely students in the street. I think the Iranians should have not had commercial flights going off when there was—
STEPHANOPOULOS: They’re calling out the regime for lying. They’re saying death to Khomeini as well.
SPEAKER PELOSI: Yes. Well, whatever it is. But the fact is this, the — there were protesters in the streets before against the regime. After the taking out of Soleimani, there were protesters in the street, joined together, as you know, against us. That wasn’t good. Taking down this plane is a terrible, terrible tragedy. And they should be held accountable for letting commercial flights go at a time that was so, so dangerous. But there are different reasons why people are in the street. Of course, we would love to see the aspirations of the people of Iran realized with a better situation there, but escalating the situation — unless we’ve exhausted every other remedy —
STEPHANOPOULOS: Which we haven’t?
SPEAKER PELOSI: Well, we don’t know that. We don’t know that. And if the first — the first action to be taken on the threat of — there — there are — a lot of bad actors who are doing bad things and threatening bad things to us. We know that. Iran being one of them. And it being a — it’s proxies doing bad things to our interests throughout the world. But how do we deal with that in a way that calms rather than escalates?