- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 5, 2017

Sen. Angus King said Thursday that unraveling the Iran agreement would be “a disaster.”

“The only thing worse than a malignant Iran in the Middle East is a malignant Iran with nuclear weapons, and that’s what this agreement is all about,” Mr. King, Maine independent, said on CNN.

Mr. King, who normally caucuses with Democrats, said the deal was never meant to be a “friendship treaty” but rather as a way to check Iran’s nuclear power. He said that although President Trump may not like the deal, it’s one that he needs to keep in place.

“I didn’t think it was a great deal, but it’s the deal we have,” Mr. King said.

He added that when he asked Defense Secretary James Mattis at a Senate Armed Services Committee this week whether he felt it was a necessary deal, Mr. Mattis agreed.

“He paused and then he said, ‘Yes senator, I do,’ ” Mr. King recalled.

The deadline for President Trump to determine if Iran is following the agreement is Oct. 15. The agreement was brokered by the Obama administration as a way to check the developing nuclear capability in the region. Critics of the bill say that lifting the sanctions upfront, which was part of the deal, gave Iran no incentive to follow the agreement.

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