At a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Thursday, President Trump said he had deep concerns about Iran’s commitment to nuclear disarmament. Echoing comments made by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Trump said that the nuclear deal was likely not enough to keep Iran from building weapons of mass destruction. And even if it were, he said, the current Iranian leadership had already gone back on their word.
“They are not living up to the spirit of the agreement, I can tell you that,” Trump said. “And we’re analyzing it very, very carefully, and we’ll have something to say about it in the not-too-distant future. But Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement, and they have to do that.”
Trump said that Iran was doing a “tremendous disservice” to themselves by continuing to fund terrorism, test ballistic missiles, and fight on behalf of Syria’s Assad regime. But, he said, the nuclear deal itself should have addressed some of these issues before handing billions of dollars over to the Islamic government.
“It was a terrible agreement,” he said. “It shouldn’t have been signed. It shouldn’t have been negotiated the way it was negotiated. I’m all for agreements, but that was a bad one – as bad as I’ve ever seen negotiated.”
Trump campaigned ruthlessly against the deal, which was brokered by Obama’s Secretary of State, John Kerry in conjunction with five of our European allies. At one point, he vowed to rip the deal to shreds on the first day of his presidency. His advisers talked him out of that, but it’s clear that he remains extremely skeptical of the deal. Trump – and many others – sees parallels in the Iran deal and the deal President Clinton forged with North Korea in the 1990s. We’ve all seen how that turned out, and there’s little reason to think things will turn out any better when it comes to Iran. The hardliner mullahs who pull the strings in that country may not be quite as insane as Kim Jong Un, but they are every bit as resentful of America’s global power.
It is folly to think that Iran will ever be an ally of the United States. That will never happen as long as Islamists control the country and America continues to support Israel. That doesn’t mean we have to bomb them out of existence, but it doesn’t mean we have to hand them the keys to Middle Eastern dominance, either.