The highest ranking official in the Department of Defense has consistently opposed President Donald J. Trump’s agenda at nearly every turn, including withdrawal from the disastrous Iran deal.
“Asked at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing whether the U.S. should stay in the Iran deal, Mattis would not give his opinion,” according to an April report. “He later said that the deal’s provisions allow ‘pretty robust’ oversight of what Iran is doing.”
The deal forged by the Obama administration lifted economic sanctions on Iran allowing them access to $100 billion in assets frozen overseas with essentially a word-of-mouth agreement that Islamic nation would not covertly continue to build its nuclear program. The former president also transferred $1.7 billion in cash to Iran.
But still, Mattis protected the agreement.
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“I’ve read it now three times … and I will say that it is written almost with an assumption that Iran would try to cheat,” he said at an Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in April. “So the verification, what is in there, is actually pretty robust as far as our intrusive ability.”
Mattis was widely praised by the mainstream press for supporting the effort to remain in the agreement. He even tried to steer the White House back towards the agreement after Trump announced that he would withdraw in early May.
“Defense Secretary Jim Mattis held out hope that renewed efforts to curtail Iran’s nuclear program in consultation with European nations could still work, a day after President Trump announced his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear pact, upsetting some of the Pentagon’s most important allies abroad,” according to the Washington Post.
Mattis’ clear repudiation of Trump’s move is evidence that the head of the Department of Defense is actively working against the President.