Mattis Contradicts Trump on Iran in Senate Hearing

Says sticking with deal is in America's interest
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2017 1:35 AM CDT
Defense Secretary Contradicts Trump, Supports Iran Deal
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, left, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, right, arrive to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The deal with Iran that President Trump calls a "disaster" serves the interests of American national security and is "something that the president should consider staying with," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says. Mattis contradicted Trump's position on the deal to restrict Iran's nuclear program after being pressed on the issue during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, the New York Times reports. He said he supports Trump's "rigorous review" of national security issues, but said the deal was worth keeping if "we can confirm that Iran is living by the agreement." Trump last re-certified Iran's compliance in July and the next deadline for him to do so is Oct. 15, ABC News reports.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford also expressed support for the deal during Tuesday's hearing, CNN reports. "Iran is not in material breach of the agreement, and I do believe the agreement to date has delayed the development of a nuclear capability by Iran," he said. Trump has called the deal an "embarrassment" for the US and complained that it does not address issues including Iran's missile development. After criticizing the deal in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly last month, Trump said he had made up his mind on the future of the agreement, though he didn't disclose his decision. (Read more Iran stories.)

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