In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, real estate mogul and business icon Donald Trump expounded upon his belief that America’s failure to properly negotiate a framework deal with Iran could very well lead to widespread nuclear proliferation and even further sectarian hostilities in the Middle East.
To illustrate the poor negotiating skills the Obama Administration presented in Lausanne, Switzerland, Trump used the example of last year’s prisoner swap between the United States and Afghanistan where alleged Army deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released back into U.S. custody in exchange for the release of five Taliban operatives; at least three of which are believed to have reentered the jihadist arena.
“It’s a five-for-one deal,” Trump said. “And the one we got is a traitor,” he said of Sgt. Bergdahl.
A transcript of the full interview is below:
Breitbart News: What do you make of the basic framework for the Iranian nuclear program agreed upon by the P5+1 powers and the Iranian regime?
Donald Trump: It’s a terrible deal. The United States has been beaten at virtually every corner. The deal will lead to nuclear proliferation throughout the region and a nuclear arms race. It’s a terrible thing for Israel. Iran is not getting rid of any of its nuclear plants. They’re not getting rid of anything. [The regime] will become rich, because now that the sanctions are off, they are going to cash in. They are going to leverage the deal to continue to cause problems throughout the region, including Yemen, and finalizing its takeover of Iraq.
Breitbart News: Top Iranian officials have said that they have complete control over Baghdad. Do you agree with this assessment?
Donald Trump: Years ago, I predicted that Iran would take over Iraq. Iran and Iraq used to fight back and forth. They would go ten feet left and ten feet right, and then they would rest for a few years. Now that we’ve decapitated Iraq, Iran has taken the place over.
We should have at least kept the oil [to finance the Iraq War]. We spent two trillion dollars, lost thousands of lives, and we now have wounded warriors all over the country. You know who has the oil now? ISIS (Islamic State). Iran has essentially taken control of Iraq’s [Shiite population].
Breitbart News: Let’s say we end up in a position where the sanctions are removed entirely as part of a final deal. What happens then?
Donald Trump: Once you take off the sanctions, its virtually impossible to put them back on. Business will flow into Iran and make Tehran an economic force. They’ll have plenty of money for nuclear [proliferation] and other areas [such as their ballistic missile program]. Once this deal happens and the sanctions come off, there is no way we will ever be able to get good sanctions back in place. We should have doubled up the sanctions before we even started negotiations.
Breitbart News: How do you think the deal went so wrong? How did we lose so much leverage?
Donald Trump: Because we have bad negotiators who have no idea what they’re doing. We have people that don’t know the first thing about “The Art of the Deal,” which I wrote, by the way. It’s a horrible deal for the United States and a worse deal for Israel.
Breitbart News: Do you believe this deal was pushed out of an act of desperation and an attempt by President Barack Obama to solidify a legacy in the Middle East?
Donald Trump: I think if this deal turns out bad, it will be a very bad part of his legacy. It should really tell you something when there are Iranians dancing in the streets of Tehran and celebrating what they perceive as being a good deal.
We have three Americans rotting in the worst prison in Iran right now — Evin. And not one person from our side mentioned their release. These three people are very important to the United States. They could have taken 10 seconds to request their release. These are bad negotiators.
Breitbart News: As a potential presidential candidate, who would you have considered sending over to Lausanne to negotiate on behalf of the United States?
Donald Trump: It all comes down to who your leader is. The president is the person responsible for putting together the right group of negotiators. And right now, we have the wrong group of negotiators who have led us to being totally out-negotiated.
The Iranians and Persians are excellent at the art of negotiation. And we have people who are terrible at the art of negotiation. And that’s what we are dealing with.
It’s no different than the situation with Sgt. Berdgahl, which I call the five-for-one deal. That deal is emblematic of something. Who would give back one traitor for five killers that are now free and back in the service of killing people? Five-for-one and the one we got is a traitor. We should really give Sgt. Bergdahl back to them. The five-for-one-deal is emblematic of the way we negotiate.
We have incompetent people leading our county and it’s evident in the terrible deals we’ve made with China, Mexico, and virtually every country in the world.
Breitbart News: How dangerous is a potential China-Russia-Iran Axis?
Donald Trump: What we’ve done is forced Russia and China much closer together. Many agree that the worst thing that could ever happen is if Russia and China get closer. Russia, China, and Iran have teamed up, and it’s a very bad thing for the world and our country. Because Iran will now have plenty of trading partners to choose from, this deal is going to make Iran a very, very rich and powerful country.
Breitbart News: America is withholding $150 billion in Iranian assets. Would giving this money back to the regime solidify its longevity?
Donald Trump: It absolutely could. We should not give back any of it. This negotiation has gone on so long. Usually, a negotiation that goes on for such a long period of time is no good. It doesn’t work out. The best deals are the fast deals.
So they say, “no,” and we say, “oh, well we can give you this.” They say “no” again, and this goes on for months and months until we get to the point where we are at today. When they say “no,” we should get up and walk away.
Breitbart News: President Obama has said that if we leave the negotiating table, that means we America is putting itself in a position to fight another war. Is this true?
Donald Trump: No. What you do is you walk and you place very heavy sanctions on them. If you walk, they will come back to the table. In any event, you can not let Iran have a nuclear weapon. That’s one thing everybody understands. You cannot let this regime have a nuclear weapon. Sanctions can take care of that if properly implemented.