- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 21, 2017

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said he knows President Trump’s decision on the Iran deal, but will allow the president to explain the decision when the time comes.

“I know what the decision is, but when the president reveals that, when he talks about it, he’ll place that in context of a broader approach to Iran, and what we have to do as a nation to protect our people, of what we have to do with our allies and partners to really prevent Iran from continuing this very destabilizing behavior,” Mr. McMaster said Thursday on CNN.

He said that the entire national security team has been involved in the discussions about the Iran nuclear deal emphasizing the discussions have been about the country’s behavior as a whole and not just the deal itself.

“We’ve all been involved in lengthy discussions, not just about the Iran deal, but about Iran’s destabilizing behavior broadly,” he said. “We’ve taken a holistic look at this.”

The Iran deal was an agreement under the Obama administration that lifted nuclear-based sanctions on Iran under the agreement that they would slow their development of nuclear weapons and be subject to checks from the United Nations.

Mr. McMaster said the deal itself is “fundamentally flawed” because it gave Iran what they wanted initially and allowed them to continue developing their nuclear program secretly.

“It gave the Iranian regime all the benefits up front,” he said. “And then the incompleteness of the deal, the flaws of the deal, the sunset clause, that could really give this regime who is not trustworthy obviously, cover to advance a nuclear program, and then have this threshold capability.”

On the issue of North Korea, Mr. McMaster said the “line” for North Korea to cross that would warrant a U.S. response is “more dangerous than ever.”

“The president’s rhetoric was completely appropriate because what’s even more dangerous is there’s a lack of clarity,” Mr. McMaster said. “Previous presidents, as you know, have made very similar statements and that clause is if North Korea attacks, if North Korea makes these provocative actions, we may not have a choice.”

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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