Erik Prince: Trump’s ‘Instincts Are Good’ on Iran, but ‘He Gets Dragged Back by Some of His Advisers’

Erik Prince
Getty Images

Former Navy SEAL and Blackwater CEO Erik Prince joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Friday’s Breitbart News Daily to talk about the Iran nuclear deal, chances that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps will be designated a terrorist organization, and the state of affairs in Afghanistan.

Prince recalled that when the Iran nuclear deal was implemented, “It was treated with reverence like a treaty would be by the Obama administration, but a treaty, of course, has to be approved by the Senate.”

“This was never, of course, approved by anything in Congress, and now if the president decertifies today it puts it back to Congress. It is unclear what Congress actually does with it. For Congress to make cancellation of this deal really valid, it has to go back and impose some sanctions, which they may or may not do,” he said.

“The other big missed opportunity here is if the president doesn’t designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps – basically the special operations wing of the Iranian government – if they don’t designate them a terrorist organization,” he added.

Prince said failing to apply such a designation to the IRGC would be “ludicrous.”

“These guys have been killing Americans, specifically, since soon after they were formed in the early 1980s,” he pointed out. “The Marine barracks in Beirut, 243 Americans in 1983; kidnapped, tortured, videotaped it, the CIA station chief in Beirut in the 1980s; blew up the U.S. embassy there, Khobar Towers, and then even the last ten years that the U.S. was in Iraq.”

“All of the explosive formed penetrators, it’s a very very nasty roadside bomb,” he elaborated on Iraq. “It’s not an improvised explosive. It’s very much a manufactured explosive, designed to cut through even the very expensive armor on an Abrams tank. Literally, the IRGC is responsible for killing and maiming hundreds, if not thousands, of American soldiers in Iraq.”

“And we still don’t designate these guys a terrorist organization. Why? Because they’re worried that this terrorist organization might actually reciprocate and carry out a terrorist attack against America. It’s ludicrous,” he said.

Prince dismissed the argument that the Iran nuclear deal is holding Tehran’s weapons program at bay as mere “hope,” which is “not a realistic foreign policy.”

“I think there was just a bunch of images released of more secret nuclear facilities in Iran that they’ve never disclosed,” he said, referring to a report published this week by the Iranian opposition group NCRI. “As part of this nuclear deal, they were supposed to make all nuclear facilities open to inspection. They’re cheating on that. They are continuing to develop their ballistic missile technology.”

“You also have to realize that Iran and North Korea, when it comes to nuclear weapons development, are totally in sync and in parallel,” he added. “When the North Koreans crank off a nuke underground, the Iranians are there observing it, and they’ve provided considerable funding for it.”

“We can delude ourselves into thinking that this horrific Obama deal is making the Middle East and America safer, but we are kidding ourselves completely,” he declared.

Prince was skeptical of the idea that Trump would decertify the nuclear deal and toss it back to Congress as a “big nothing,” a “head fake not a headbutt.”

“Iran is not our friend. They have been sticking it to us. You know, as recently as October 1, 12 days ago, an American soldier was killed in Iraq by an explosive formed penetrator. They have been sticking it to us since 1979 and will continue to do so. What’s announced today will not really reject the Iranian nuclear deal. It will dump it back on Congress, which really won’t do anything on it,” he predicted.

“What Congress should have done – what Senator Corker should have forced – is that when the Obama administration pushed the Iran nuclear deal, they should have forced a vote in the Senate,” he said. “If we’re going to treat it like a treaty, vote it up or down like a treaty. We don’t know that the do-nothing Senate will do something now. The president has a chance to kill this thing effectively, by himself, but he’s being highly advised not to do so by some bad advice from those around him.”

“I think he does listen to his base, now and then,” Prince added, recommended “steady, unrelenting pressure” from Trump voters until he comes around on the Iran deal – much as unrelenting pressure from those who give him “bad advice” tipped him the wrong way on putting more troops in Afghanistan.

“If the president went with his initial instincts on this stuff, he’d be hitting it out of the park,” said Prince, who had proposed a plan to President Trump for using private security forces instead of more military personnel in Afghanistan. “Some of these very Establishment foreign policy advisers are giving advice indiscernible from what they’d be giving Hillary Clinton. It’s taken him off track.”

“The president wanted to take more bold action on this last summer, and came to very strong disagreements with Tillerson, and Mattis, and McMaster,” he said of the last nuclear deal certification, referring to the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Adviser, respectively. “His instincts on this are good, and he gets dragged back by some of his advisers.”

Prince described Iran as “a society that puts a thousand stitches into a square inch in a Persian rug.”

“They understand methodical. They are very patient, and very deliberate, and they continue to move the ball in their direction, as this so-called nuclear deal did. It doesn’t really slow them down from nuclear development at all. Like I said before, they are completely in parallel and in collusion with the North Koreans. They continue to do underground nuclear testing, missile testing, et cetera, just as the Iranians are doing,” he charged.

“As part of the Obama nuclear deal with Iran, there are supposed to be complete inspections, but secret nuclear sites scattered about the country – it’s a very large country, a lot of remote, rugged terrain – certainly those aren’t being inspected,” he said.

“If we make deals with people who are actively trying to kill us, who continue to call the United States the Great Satan, that hasn’t changed. They continue to kill Americans, as recently as October 1. They are not our friends, far from it. If we’re not careful, they will continue to eat our lunch, one bite at a time,” he warned.

Prince noted that the State Department is “designating some leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as terrorists,” but will not “sanction the entire IRGC as a terrorist organization.”

“Those are the guys that are driving this nuclear program,” he said. “If you sanction the entire IRGC, you can then go after all of their front companies and money-making apparatus, which trades through the world, through West Africa, money laundering for the drug cartels to front businesses in Europe and elsewhere in the Middle East. You can start to crimp off their financing.”

“If you don’t do that, if you don’t call a terrorist a terrorist, you can’t really take action against them,” he noted. “The legacy holdovers of the Obama administration that remain in positions in the national security apparatus is what is hindering the president from making a clear, and bold, and promised decision today.”

Marlow said the Trump administration says the right things about Iran, but seems hesitant to take commensurate action. Prince humorously identified it as the “bureaucratic SITS method: Show Interest, Then Stall.”

“In the meantime, the Iranians have been on the march,” Prince said. “They are desperately trying to secure the Shia Crescent that goes from Iran all the way to Lebanon, where they can continue to arm Hezbollah, their surrogate there, with larger and larger rockets to dominate Israel, and Jordan for that matter. They’re continuing to advance in their dominance in Yemen and elsewhere.”

“Until we call them out for the enemy and terrorist organization that they are, they’ll continue to eat our lunch,” he stressed.

“We don’t have a beef with the Iranian people, believe me,” Prince added. “The Iranian people want to be Western. They want to have freedom, and drink beer, and listen to rock and roll. They are effectively led by a government that looks more and more like the SS in Nazi Germany – an Iranian Shia fascist government that is far from elected, that imposes itself on every aspect of the Iranian citizen’s life, to the detriment of what should be a very proud and very prosperous country.”

Turning to Afghanistan, Prince said President Trump’s decision to send another 4,000 U.S. troops is “unlikely to move the needle.”

“When Secretary Mattis traveled to Afghanistan just a couple of weeks ago for an update, he landed in Kabul, and he has to get on a helicopter to fly one mile across the town to where the U.S. base is. He can’t get in a vehicle to drive, just like any person from the U.S. Embassy operating there has to take a helicopter from the Kabul airport into downtown, because it’s not safe to drive,” he observed.

“And within two hours of Secretary Mattis landing, 40 rockets hit Kabul airport, in a five-hour firefight to try to secure the airport again,” he added. “This is not what winning looks like.”

“I have serious questions about how many lawyers they have over there, because when the president gives clear direction that you can go after the Taliban, you can go after any of these terrorist organizations quickly and directly, then it takes them weeks and weeks to roll out a rule of engagement change – that should be about a one-hour or two-hour conference call to say, ‘This is your orders, gentlemen. Execute, execute, execute.’ The bureaucracy is so bad and so thick, we don’t seem to be able to move with the clear direction the president has given,” he lamented.

“I was there on the ball when the president said in his inaugural speech, ‘We’re going to drive Islamic terrorism off the face of the Earth.’ I don’t think he intended that means the terrorists are driving captured U.S. vehicles across the Afghan terrain,” said Prince.

Marlow concluded the interview by asking Prince if he has reached a decision about challenging Wyoming Senator John Barrasso in the Republican primary.

“Research and analysis is underway,” Prince replied.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern.

LISTEN:

.