Mattis Pentagon goes rogue, defies POTUS, backs Iran nuke deal

Jordan Schachtel · March 15, 2018
Mattis Pentagon goes rogue, defies POTUS, backs Iran nuke deal
Anton Watman | Shutterstock

On the heels of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s firing, due to his defiance of President Trump in support of the Iran nuclear deal, rogue Pentagon officials under Secretary of Defense James Mattis are waging their own campaign to keep the deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran.

In amazing testimony before the Senate, Gen. Joseph Votel, who serves as the leader of U.S. Central Command, told stunned senators that he, Defense Secretary Mattis, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Joe Dunford all support the nuclear deal.

“From my perspective, the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] addresses one of the principal threats that we deal with from Iran,” Votel said, adding, “So, if the JCPOA goes away, then we will have to have another way to deal with the nuclear weapons program.”

This narrative is not at all in line with the president’s policies on the Iran deal. On the campaign trail, Trump famously described the Iran deal as one of the “worst deals” negotiated in U.S. history. Yet the Pentagon under Secretary of Defense Mattis articulates talking points that more closely represent the Obama administration’s views concerning the nuclear accord.

“Right now, I think it is in our interest” to remain in the deal, Votel added, seemingly in direct defiance of the commander-in-chief’s current mission to either fix or nix the deal.

Votel’s comments came just hours after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired and immediately replaced with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

In moving Pompeo into the chief diplomatic post, the president commented:

“I think Mike Pompeo will be a truly great Secretary of State. I have total confidence in him. And as far as Rex Tillerson is concerned…we disagreed on things. When you look at the Iran deal. I think it’s terrible. I guess he thought it was okay.”

Pompeo has long been a critic of the nuclear deal and recognizes Iran as one of the major forces of terrorist support and global instability.

Secretary Mattis, on the other hand, has consistently acted as a proponent for the Obama administration’s signature foreign policy “achievement.” Last October, Mattis told Congress that he believes it’s in America’s “best interest” to “stay with” the deal.

On the foreign policy front, Mattis has held off on confronting Iran’s regional aggression. Mattis continues to talk tough on Iran, but he still has not committed to any particular strategic or tactical changes to counter the regime.

Mattis has also gone rogue on a number of other issues. While the president opposes gender engineering in the military, Mattis has fought to keep the military open to people who identify as transgender. The defense chief has consistently sought out left-wing ideologues for top Pentagon positions. Additionally, he has pushed through the sale of U.S. military equipment and aid to the controversial regime in Qatar.

The president is seeking to either scrap the Iran deal entirely or institute overarching reforms to the broken accord before May 12. He has sent a team of negotiators to Europe to work with the other signatories to the deal in an attempt to shore up the agreement. The president wants to strengthen the deal to include reining in Iran’s ballistic missile program and rolling back its financial and material support for terrorism. A U.S. departure from the deal would virtually guarantee that it would be terminated by all parties involved.


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Author: Jordan Schachtel

Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for Conservative Review and editor of The Dossier for CRTV. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.