Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said during the seventh Democrat debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday night that Iran would never obtain a nuclear weapon if he were president.
Buttigieg said ensuring that Iran does not get its hands on a nuclear weapon would be a priority, but he still took time out to criticize President Donald Trump for withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.
“Ensuring that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons will, of course, be a priority, because it’s such an important part of keeping America safe,” he said.
“But unfortunately, President Trump has made it much harder for the next president to achieve that goal,” Buttigieg continued. He went on to say:
By gutting the Iran nuclear deal — one that, by the way, the Trump administration itself admitted was working, certified that it was preventing progress towards a nuclear Iran — by gutting that, they have made the region more dangerous and set off the chain of events that we are now dealing with as it escalates even closer to the brink of outright war.
Buttigieg’s response during the debate comes at a time of increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran. After a U.S. airstrike killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, Iran announced that it would no longer obey the terms of the Iran nuclear deal.