Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said of the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran, “a lot of that toothpaste is already out of the tube,” so now “the key” was to “rigorously enforce” the deal.
Partial transcript as follows:
TODD: Would you like to see the beginnings of trying to get out of the nuclear deal ?
RYAN: A lot of that toothpaste is already out of the tube. I never supported the deal in the first place. I thought it was a huge mistake. But the multilateral sanctions are done. So–
TODD: Done meaning you’re not going to be able to put that back together–
SPEAKER PAUL RYAN: Yeah, I don’t think you’re going to go back and reconstitute the multilateral sanctions that were in place.
TODD: Should we try, though?
RYAN: So, I don’t think we– I think we should expend our effort where it can pay off the most. And that’s why I think what they’re doing now does make a lot of sense. So I think the key is to rigorously enforce this deal. But also, remember, they’re testing ballistic missiles. They’re still the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Human rights abuses galore. And so those are where I think we also need to ratchet up sanctions. I think what this administration is doing, which I agree with, is saying, “We have a new administration, and we’re going to hold you, Iran, to account.” This last administration did not do that. This new administration needs to do that. And I think that’s what you’re getting here.
TODD: Where is the line here? Are you concerned that Iran might retaliate, and suddenly we’re a part of the proxy war in Yemen? I mean–
RYAN:But look what they were doing, we’re appeasing them already. So it couldn’t get worse–
TODD: You thought too much appeasement–
RYAN: Yeah, it couldn’t get any worse than what we already had. So I think they need to know that they’re going to be held to account. Because if left– If we don’t do that, then they’re going to go off and do all these other things. Remember, they are a belligerent force in the Middle East. Look at what they’re trying to do to destabilize the region with all their proxies. Look at what they’re doing to finance terrorism, their human rights abuses, testing ballistic missiles. You see they write on the side of their ballistic missiles in Hebrew, Farsi and English, “Death to Israel and death to America.” This is not a peaceful nation.
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