McMaster Says Iran Has Violated Parts of Nuclear Deal: 'They're Crossing the Line'

September 18, 2017

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Sunday that Iran has already violated parts of the nuclear deal, adding, "They're crossing the line at times."

"Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace noted that President Donald Trump, who lambastes the deal brokered by the Obama administration, has had the opportunity to re-impose sanctions that were lifted as part of the agreement but has not yet done so.

"I know he has to recertify in October whether or not they are complying with it, all this talk about tearing up the agreement, in fact, isn't he going to live with it and try to find other ways to confront Iran on other fronts?" Wallace asked.

"Well, we have to see what live with it means, right?" McMaster said. "Live with can't be giving this regime cover to develop a nuclear capability. And so, a lot of things have to happen immediately, rigorous enforcement of that agreement. It is under-enforced now. We know Iran has already violated parts of the agreement by—"

"But the IAEA says that they’re complying with it, sir," Wallace said.

"Well, the IAEA has identified and we've identified some of these breaches that Iran has then corrected," McMaster said. "But what does that tell you about Iranian behavior? They’re not just walking up to the line on the agreement. They’re crossing the line at times."

McMaster said there has to be far more rigorous enforcement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and recognition of its flaws.

"As the president said, it is the worst deal," McMaster said. "It gave all these benefits to the Iranian regime up front, and these benefits now they're using to foment this humanitarian catastrophe in the greater Middle East."

The Washington Free Beacon reported last month that Iran was caught violating the deal by shipping soldiers to Syria on commercial flights. It has also expanded its ballistic missile technology.

Iran is the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism, lending support to groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. It has proxy forces in Iraq and bolsters the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria.

Trump has reportedly been weighing a strategy to more aggressively respond to Iranian forces and its terror support.

President Barack Obama insisted the deal was the best way to stop Iran's path to a nuclear weapon, although he acknowledged in 2015 that the theocracy's breakout time could well be zero months when the deal's provisions expire.