McMaster: Trump Will Take A More ‘Holistic’ Approach To Iran

National security adviser H.R. McMaster, speaks during the news briefing at the White House, in Washington, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/AP

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Thursday he knows what the President’s decision will be on the Iran nuclear deal, but only revealed that the President plans to take a broader approach to Iran’s “destabilizing behavior.”

Appearing on CNN’s “New Day” Thursday, McMaster stopped short of saying whether Trump plans to pull out of the 2015 multi-nation deal that limits Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear arsenal in exchange for lifting sanctions against the country, but called the agreement “fundamentally flawed.” 

President Donald Trump said this week he has made a decision about the deal, but hasn’t said whether he will pull out.

The deal is fundamentally flawed. As the President said, he called it the ‘worst deal of all-time.’ It gave the Iranian regime all the benefits up front and then the incompleteness of the deal, the flaws of the deal, the sunset clause that could really give this regime who is not trustworthy, obviously, cover to advance a nuclear program and have a threshold capability,” he said.

He said Trump wants to do something to address “Iran’s destabilizing behavior broadly” and that the administration wants to “block all paths to nuclear weapons” for Iran.

“We have all been involved in lengthy discussions (about) … the potential of the nuclear program, the need to block all paths to nuclear weapons for Iran, but their ballistic missile program, things not covered under this incomplete deal and really what they’ve done to perpetuate violence across the Middle East. …. So we have taken a holistic look at this,” he said.

He said Iran has “crossed the line” with its missile development and that “much more rigorous enforcement is needed.”

“Iran is destabilizing, not just the Middle East, but poses a broader threat, and Iran is perpetuating this humanitarian and political crisis in the Middle East,” he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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