State Dept Won’t Deny Nuclear Deal Encouraged Iranian Aggression

September 13, 2016

State Department spokesman Mark Toner would not deny to reporters on Tuesday that the Iran nuclear deal has encouraged Iranian aggression this year.

Fox News reporter James Rosen pointed out some of the tense moments between the United States and Iran so far this year in 2016. Iran has, for example, captured U.S. Navy sailors in international waters, harassed U.S. Navy vessels in international waters multiple times, and threatened to shoot down two U.S. Navy aircraft that were flying in international airspace.

"But you can’t rule out that in fact this deal has served as a cause for this more aggressive posture?" Rosen asked.

"I mean I can’t rule that out," Toner said. "It’s just, you know, Iran, like many countries, has an internal political process that’s defined by a lot of different dynamics, but I can’t give an assessment one way or the other in that regard."

Associated Press reporter Matt Lee pointed out that a large portion of Iran’s contact in the West has been through their military and not diplomacy.

"You’re right that they have show a willingness to engage with the West, but it’s to engage militarily, is it not?" Lee asked.

Toner said that Iran’s position in the conflict in Syria has not been as confrontational.