Mattis: In US national security interest to stay in Iran deal

Mattis: In US national security interest to stay in Iran deal

Speaking to a Senate panel, James Mattis said that Iran is abiding by the technical terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action brokered in 2015.

Mattis said he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had been "in contact on this issue three times in the past 10 days".

In a House of Representatives hearing later on Tuesday, Mattis said Iran was "fundamentally" in compliance with the nuclear deal.

General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate committee that it's now a stalemate in Afghanistan.

The U.S. military's top leaders told lawmakers Tuesday that the thousands of additional U.S. troops President Donald Trump has ordered to Afghanistan will cost just over $1 billion a year, bringing the total bill for fighting America's longest war to $12.5 billion annually.

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, says that decertification is an "internal" United States matter and that a Republican Congress may well decide to preserve the accord, regardless of the president's actions.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday the Pentagon's new strategy on Afghanistan will bring USA troops closer to the front lines to fight alongside government forces in an effort to force the Taliban into peace negotiations.


"We want to be your partners", McCain said.

Trump, while announcing the new strategy for Afghanistan, had criticised Pakistan for providing safe havens to terror outfits. We must be well-informed.

European ambassadors speaking in Washington last week said they would do everything possible to protect companies based in Europe and that continue to do business with Iran, from reimposed USA sanctions.

About 3,500 more American forces are being sent to Afghanistan as part of Trump's new strategy. "And that would be the way, as we take the fight to the enemy, we convince the Taliban, 'You're not going to win this by killing'". He indicated that after an effective military effort it eventually may be possible to reach a political settlement in Afghanistan that includes elements of the Taliban.

Sen. Angus King of ME asked Mattis during a congressional hearing if he thinks it's in the national security interests of the United States to stay a part of the global accord.

Trump faces a 15 October deadline for certifying that Iran is complying with the pact, a decision that could sink an agreement strongly supported by the other powers that negotiated it, including Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union.

Asked by Senator Angus King if he thinks there is "national security interest" to keep the agreement, Mattis said: "Yes, sir".

"I believe at this point in time, absent indication to the contrary, it is something that the president should consider staying with", Mattis pointed out.

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