Nikki Haley Warns That Iran Could Become ‘the Next North Korea’ – 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 …
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.”
“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,” Haley continued. “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.”
Yet the course the Trump administration is pursuing with North Korea—imposing sanctions to pressure Kim Jong Un into negotiations over his nuclear program—is remarkably similar to the course the Obama administration pursued for years ahead of the Iran deal. Given widespread skepticism among experts that North Korea will ever entirely denuclearize, moreover, it’s possible that the best deal Trump could get with the North would essentially freeze its program in place, though Trump officials including Haley insist they are seeking nothing less than North Korea’s complete denuclearization. Such a freeze would leave the the North Korean nuclear program in a more advanced state than Iran’s is today. (U.S. intelligence agencies estimate that North Korea possesses dozens of nuclear weapons; there’s no public evidence Iran has any.)
Still, Haley said the United States isn’t alone in considering the Iran deal fundamentally flawed, even if it may seem that way. “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,” Haley said. “They just don’t want to admit they were wrong” even though “they had good intentions.”
Read More: The Atlantic
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