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Anerica’s Defense Secretary Mattis suggests sticking with Iran nuclear deal

Defense Secretary Mattis suggests sticking with Iran nuclear deal https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-usa/defense-secretary-mattis-suggests-sticking-with-iran-nuclear-deal-idUSKCN1C821, NIdrees Ali, Phil Stewart, 4 Oct 17,  WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday the United States should consider staying in the Iran nuclear deal unless it were proven that Tehran was not abiding by the agreement or that it was not in the U.S. national interest to do so.

Although Mattis said he supported U.S. President Donald Trump’s review of the agreement curbing Iran’s nuclear program, the defense secretary’s view was nonetheless far more positive than that of Trump, who has called the deal agreed between Iran and six world powers in 2015 an “embarrassment”.

Trump is weighing whether the deal serves U.S. security interests as he faces a mid-October deadline for certifying that Iran is complying with the pact, a decision that could sink an agreement strongly supported by the other powers that negotiated it.

“If we can confirm that Iran is living by the agreement, if we can determine that this is in our best interest, then clearly we should stay with it,” Mattis told a Senate hearing. ”I believe …, absent indications to the contrary, it is something that the president should consider staying with,” Mattis added.

Earlier, when Mattis was asked whether he thought staying in the deal was in the U.S. national security interest, he replied: “Yes, senator, I do.”

The White House had no immediate comment on Mattis’ remarks, which once again highlighted the range of views on key policy issues within the Trump administration.

If Trump does not recertify by Oct. 15 that Iran is in compliance, Congress would have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Tehran suspended under the accord.

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October 4, 2017 - Posted by | politics international, USA

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