Hillary Clinton: Nuclear deal ‘lowered the threat’ posed by Iran

Hillary Clinton on Sunday said the nuclear deal with Iran has “lowered the threat” posed by the nation, but repeated her call for new sanctions to hold the nation “accountable” for its ballistic missile program.

“Certainly we have lowered that threat because of the nuclear agreement,” she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “but they continue to destabilize governments in the Middle East, they continue to support proxies and terrorist groups like Hezbollah, they continue to threaten Israel, there are a lot of concerns.”

Melissa Harris-Perry, 1/17/16, 11:06 AM ET

Obama on Iran deal: This is a good day

Rev. Al Sharpton, Nina Khrushcheva, Katon Dawson and John Nichols join to discuss the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal and prisoner swap and what it means for President Obama’s legacy.

Her comments come as sanctions are being lifted from Iran as the nation has been moving to comply with the nuclear deal and dismantle parts of its nuclear program. In a move lauded by Clinton and others as a positive development, on Saturday Iran released four American prisoners.

But in a Saturday statement, Clinton called for “new sanctions and firm resolve” in response to Iran’s ballistic missile program. She repeated that call on Sunday, pledging to “watch Iran like the proverbial hawk” for its commitment to the deal.

“When it comes to the missile program, they are under U.N. Security Council sanctions, and if they are violating it — which the evidence seems to suggest — they should be held accountable,” she said.

“They need to know that that this is a good step forward with respect to the nuclear weapons program but there are other areas of their behavior that we’ll continue to be focused on.”

Shortly after her interview, however, the U.S. Treasury announced it would impose new sanctions on 11 Iranian companies and individuals involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Clinton also responded to the just-released movie about the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, “13 Hours,” saying she hadn’t seen it but “I know people have raised questions about some of the dramatization.”

This article first appeared on NBCNews.com.

Hillary Clinton and Iran

Hillary Clinton: Nuclear deal 'lowered the threat' posed by Iran