The State Department pointed out the fact that Holt's question about Iranian support for terrorist organizations was never answered and Holt never pushed the issue.
Holt allowed Ali Shamkhani, military adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, said it was a mistake for Iran to sign the Obama administration’s 2015 deal since the U.S. pulled out under President Donald Trump.
Holt also allowed Shamkhani to claim that Iran was a stabilizing force in the Middle East, rather than a source of terrorism. The U.S. State Department still lists Iran as one of the leading state-sponsors of terrorism.
Shamkhani, according to a press email sent by the State Department’s communications office, “accidentally” admitted to relying “on the assistance of proxy groups to spread violence in the region.” In his interview with Holt, Shamkhani said Iran had “multiple instruments at hand, including the proxy war.” While Shamkhani did not say who would help fight on Iran’s behalf, NBC acknowledged the country has been “a long-time supporter of Hezbollah, Hamas and Yemen's Houthi rebels.”
Holt also interviewed Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who claimed that he was sanctioned by the U.S. because he rejected an invitation to the White House. The State Department pointed to a Wall Street Journal article from July 1 that explained Treasury Secretary Mnuchin had already announced sanctions would be coming against Zarif. At the beginning of August, Zarif claimed that he had been invited to the White House while he was in New York attending meetings at the United Nations, and that his rejection was the reason he was sanctioned. Zarif was in New York around July 16, two weeks after Mnuchin made hist statement about sanctions.