U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Tuesday that she “never thought the Iran deal could be fixed.” Even so, the Trump administration spent months consulting with other countries on ways to improve the agreement, before the United States withdrew from it entirely in May and re-imposed sanctions on Iran. “You could change it to be a better deal, but you couldn’t change it to be a good deal,” she said during an appearance at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, D.C.
In explaining why she felt the Obama-era pact to restrict Iran’s nuclear-weapons program was so problematic, Haley described Iran as part of the Trump administration’s broader challenge of confronting nuclear proliferation among U.S. adversaries. “Look at North Korea. Look at how we’re pulling teeth to get them to stop” their nuclear-weapons program, she noted. “We’re not gonna get Iran to stop [once it acquires nuclear weapons].Russia’s building up [their nuclear-weapons arsenal], China’s building up theirs. We have to defend America at every turn,” The Atlantic reports.
“You give literally millions of dollars in economic relief to Iran and they don’t stop their ballistic-missile testing, they don’t stop selling arms, and they continue to support terrorism. I look at [Iran] as the next North Korea. If you continue to fund this, and they continue to do these bad acts, and no one holds them accountable, we one day are going to be talking about Iran the same way we talk about North Korea.
Honestly the other countries who were parties to the Iran deal]came to me and said ‘We know. You’re right.’ But because everybody loves the deal, and their handprints are on it, and they have to say it was successful, they were tiptoeing around all of these things.
They just don’t want to admit they were wrong” even though they had good intentions.
When it comes to North Korea, is diplomacy moving fast? No. But we never thought it would. We knew this was going to be a slow, tough process. The good news as far is the administration is concerned, is that North Korea hasn’t tested ballistic missiles in months, and stifling international sanctions against North Korea. We have sanctions that basically cut off 90 percent of their trade and 30 percent of their oil. And we’re holding tight on those sanctions. So the North Koreans still need financial relief and they’re begging for it. This is still going in the right direction, there’s always more we can do on sanctions and diplomatically we’ll continue to try and do that.
Look, are the North Koreans wishing or maybe changing their mind on denuclearization? It’s possible. But we’re not going to change our mind on sanctions. We’re not going to change our mind on denuclearization and we’re not going to change our posture in terms of how we look at that as a threat.”
North Korea has not held up to their end of the peace treaty, but to be honest, very few ever thought they would and we are just now hearing how even the Trump administration knew they would not. We now know that North Korea continues to build up their nuclear facilities and their ICBM’s and that China and Russia continue to help them progress.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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