(CNSNews.com) – In his speech to the United Nations on Tuesday, President Trump called the Iran nuclear deal “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”
“Frankly,” Trump said, “that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me.”
Asked what the president meant by that, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Fox News on Tuesday night that the deal must be changed at the very least:
“Well, if we are going to stick with the Iran deal, there has to be changes made to it. The sunset provision simply is not a sensible way forward. It’s just simply kicking the can down the road again, for someone in the future to have to deal with.
“The President … takes his responsibilities seriously and that’s why he’s giving very, very careful consideration as to what’s the best way to address that issue.”
Tillerson said the most glaring flaw in the Iranian nuclear deal is its sunset provision, which allows Iran to proceed with its elements of its nuclear program in 10 to 15 years:
And unfortunately, this is what governments in the past did with North Korea. They just simply they entered into agreements that were short-lived or were easily cheated on.
And I think that’s the president’s assessment of the Iranian nuclear agreement is that it’s not a stiff enough agreement. It doesn’t slow their program enough. And holding them accountable is difficult under the agreement.
But most importantly, the agreement comes to an end, and so we can almost start the countdown clock as to when they will resume their nuclear weapons capability.
The president really wants to redo it, renegotiate it. We do need the support, I think, of our allies, the European allies and others to make the case as well to Iran that this deal really has to be revisited.
President Trump faces an Oct. 15 deadline to certify whether Iran is meeting its commitments under the nuclear deal.
On Monday, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani repeated an earlier warning that Iran would immediately resume its nuclear program if President Trump withdraws from the agreement.
And press reports say America’s European allies do not want to renegotiate the deal.
Beyond the nuclear deal, President Trump is concerned with the growing Iranian threat to the entire Middle East.
“And we’ve really got to begin to deal with Iran’s destabilizing activities in Yemen and Syria,” Tillerson told Fox News.
Tillerson noted that when Iran signed the nuclear agreement, “There was clearly an expectation, I think, on the part of all the parties to that agreement, that by signing this nuclear agreement, Iran would begin to move to a place where it wanted to reintegrate itself with its neighbors.
“And that clearly did not happen,” Tillerson said. “In fact, Iran has stepped up its destabilizing activities to the region, and we have to deal with that, so whether we deal with it through a renegotiation on nuclear or we deal with it in other ways–”
He left the thought unfinished.