During an interview on Fox News with Lt. General H.R. McMaster that focused on foreign policy and President Trump’s first 100 days in office, the discussion turned to trouble spots around the world, particularly the Middle East.
One of the first spots discussed was Iran. The interviewer noted that the U.S. State Department has just certified that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal, particularly regarding the terms of a specific field. Yet, the State Department has also made it clear that the U.S. will be much tougher on Iranian actions going forward, particularly its support of terrorism.
Within the West, however, U.S. allies are dropping their sanctions and now business deals are tentatively being worked out with Iran. There are foreign banks who are wary of doing business with Iran, but this is primarily due to the primary sanctions still in place by the U.S. Boeing has also recently worked out a deal to sell airplanes to Iran’s Aseman Airlines, despite its CEO being linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and direct evidence that Iran is using its commercial aircraft to ferry weapons and fighters across the region.
McMasters, however, indicated that despite evidence of companies and foreign governments opening up to doing business with Iran, that the U.S. still has some leverage.
“I think all we have to do is pull the curtain back on Iranian behavior. This is a regime that is supporting the murderous regime in Syria, that’s committing mass murder of its own people. This is a regime that is really applying what you might call a Hezbollah model to the greater Middle East, in which they have weak governments, that they want to depend on Iran for support, while they grow militias and other illegal armed groups outside,” said McMasters.
He also indicated that the U.S. can still enforce sanctions, but it requires a critical shift in policy towards Iran, away from the appeasing efforts of the last eight years.
“What you’re seeing is because of the president’s leadership, really strong relationships across the Arab world, for example, and I think that there’s going to be a tremendous to confront Iran’s destructive behavior in the region and beyond the region,” said McMaster.