Pulling out of the Iran deal will make the upcoming negotiations with North Korea easier, not more difficult, said Sen. John Barrasso Monday, and he agrees with President Donald Trump that withdrawing from the nuclear agreement was the right thing to do.
“I agree completely,” the Wyoming Republican told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” program. “It’s easier to deal with North Korea. They won’t be able to come and say ‘hey, we want the same deal as Iran.
“We can keep nuclear weapons, have inspections when we say, continue with the missions.’ It wipes all that off the table with the North Koreans.”
Barrasso also discussed comments made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who delivered a stern list of demands Monday that he said should be included in a nuclear treaty with Iran that would replace the international deal approved during President Barack Obama’s administration. Pompeo also threatened the “strongest sanctions in history” if Iran does not change its course.
Barrasso said Pompeo had “multiple audiences” for his address, including the United States’ European allies.
“We want them to put pressure on Iran to say look, you need to do a new deal,” said Barrasso. “Talk is fine but the demands are going to be firm. Then the people in Iran as well as North Korea is part of the audience.”
An Iran with nuclear weapons “makes the entire world less safe, less secure, less stable,” he added. “The Iranian deal was a bad one to begin one. Even the French wanted to be tougher than what President Obama agreed to in 2015.
“We paid all this money up front, allowed them to continue with their ballistic missile testing and actual use, continued using money for terrorism. I think that the Iran deal just emboldened and enriched Iran rather than the opposite, the effect that I would have wanted.”
Barrasso said he also agrees with Pompeo’s comments that Iran’s leaders are not helping their people.
“The religious fanatics are making it harder for the people who live there,” he said. “Economic sanctions, the oil sanctions, all of those have an impact. The effort is to get making sure that Iran never has a nuclear weapon.
“The last deal gave them a path to the weapon and it emboldened them and the president is absolutely on the right path as is Mike Pompeo, which is why it was so important to give this speech today to say talk isn’t off the table.”
North Korea, needs to know that Trump is very serious about the impact of sanctions, said Barrasso.
“He will continue with sanctions on North Korea, increase sanctions in Iran and with the Iran deal, bringing in Saudi Arabia, bringing in Japan” said Barrasso. “North Korea also needs to know it’s not the people of North Korea; it’s about the leadership.”
North Korea also needs to know that long-term military options remain on the table, said Barrasso.
“The president is very strong on this, very firm, and North Korea is going to realize it is in their best interest to eliminate the nuclear weapons from the entire Korean peninsula and it has to be verifiable and enforceable,” said Barrasso.
He also thinks North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will make some threats before the June summit, but it will be a mistake on his part if he doesn’t show up.
“It is in his best interest as well as North Korea’s best interest to come to talk and participate in the summit, and in his long-term best interest to eliminate the nuclear weapons from North Korea,” said Barrasso.
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