By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — The top U.S. military commander has warned against pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, saying doing so would complicate U.S. efforts to reach agreements with other nations.
General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the comments September 26 in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
His remarks come as U.S. President Donald Trump continues to criticize Tehran, and the landmark 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama in conjunction with other world powers.
The agreement curtailed Tehran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for lifting punishing Western sanctions. Trump has called the deal “an embarrassment.”
Dunford told senators that Iran was complying with the deal.
But he also warned that Iran continued to destabilize countries and conflicts across the Middle East, and supported “terrorist organizations in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.”
Asked what would happen if the Trump administration walked away from the 2015 deal, Dunford said it would make it harder to strike other agreements.
“It makes sense to me that our holding up agreements that we have signed, unless there is a material breech, would have an impact on others’ willingness to sign agreements,” Dunford said.
Trump has until October 16 to certify to Congress that Iran is complying.
Then Congress would have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Tehran.