Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily to discuss the possibility that President Trump will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. He also offered some observations on the Catalan independence movement in Spain.
“We’re continuing to see evidence that the insubordinates around him are pressing him not to do what the facts require him to do, which is to say Iran is not in compliance with this so-called political understanding,” Gaffney said.
“What I’m afraid may come out of it, though, since he’s very intent, it seems, to decertify, as the facts suggest he must, is that there will be a kind of Solomonic splitting of the baby,” he predicted, saying this would lead to Trump’s remaining in the nuclear deal with deep reservations.
“That’s really, in a way, the worst of all worlds because we’re acknowledging there is no basis for a deal, but on the other hand, we’re going to continue to legitimate it or continue to be bound by it ourselves in the interests of renegotiating some of its terms,” he said, warning this could lead to “unhelpful and downright reckless” changes.
“When you look at what Iran is up to around the world, to say nothing of their ongoing nuclear weapons activities, there’s nothing but trouble coming from these guys. To the extent we pretend we still have some sort of workable arrangement with them that’s worth preserving, worth staying with, I fear it simply emboldens them to become even more dangerous,” he warned.
“John Bolton has a plan for getting out of this. The president wasn’t allowed to see it, so they published it at National Review. It ought to be the alternative not only is he presented with, but that he adopts,” Gaffney advised.
He noted a key component of Bolton’s plan involves acknowledging that “Iran’s behavior requires more sanctions – not more indulgence, not more accommodations or appeasement, but more sanctions, more pressure on them.”
Gaffney recommended that wavering American allies should be told, “Look, if you’re so hot to buy things or give things or otherwise do things with the Iranians, be our guest. It’s just not going to be with us as well.”
Marlow asked if the forces working to keep the Iran deal in place might be characterized as the “Deep State” or entrenched bureaucracy, noting that concerns about such influence on foreign policy date back to the Reagan administration and beyond.
Gaffney, who worked for President Reagan, replied that he “recognized, as we should all, that there is a permanent bureaucracy, and whether it’s deep or shallow or otherwise, it is permanent.”
“I’ve seen lots of examples of it, including one that’s ongoing right now that I’m seized with involving our missile defenses, in which the permanent bureaucracy is simply stymieing the will of the president or his leadership because it doesn’t agree with him,” he said.
Gaffney noted that Secretary of Defense James Mattis testified to the Senate that he supports staying with the Iran nuclear deal, a position he has held since his confirmation hearings.
“Rex Tillerson has made no secret that he wants to stay with this deal,” he added. “The guy who I think is probably the most insidious, however, of these insubordinates is H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser to the president, because I think he’s the one who is promoting this fraudulent approach that says, ‘You can decertify, Mr. President. We know you want to do that. Yes, sir, we’re going to decertify. We’re just going to stay in the deal.’”
Gaffney thinks this approach would create even more problems than the status quo. “I pray the president will say no to McMaster, and by the way, I think he should show him the door,” he said.
On the subject of Catalan independence, Gaffney noted the Kurds are “simultaneously expressing insistence on self-determination” as part of a worldwide challenge to existing political order.
“In Catalonia, the European Union and the Spanish government, of course, are determined to prevent the Catalans from having the opportunity to have their own state. I believe they will use force against them. They’re certainly going to do everything they can to prevent it,” he predicted.
“My guess is that in the end, it will come to force. Force was used already in order to prevent this referendum from going forward, as you know,” he noted.
“As to where we ought to come down on this, I personally believe that one of the biggest problems that we’re facing from countries that are supposed to be our friends is the hostility towards the United States of the European Union,” he added.
“To the extent that this plays out in a way that weakens that organization and strengthens those who are seeking a democratic alternative that represents their will and does not control them from Brussels, I think that’s on balance in our interests, as well as the people most immediately involved,” he advised.
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