CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Trump's decision to abandon nuclear deal: "The regime change crew, they're back in town."
Amanpour: "No matter what the president says, the deal constrains Iran's nuclear program. So how does pulling out of it make you safe?"
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From the May 8 edition of CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin:
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WOLF BLITZER (GUEST HOST): Let's go to Christiane first, then Jim and we'll get reaction. Christiane your thoughts?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR (CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT): Well, I was struck by [National Security Advisor] John Bolton standing at the door as you saw President Trump exit. Look, this is the regime change crew. They're back in town. They're ascendant, and it sounds very much like that is what President Trump is hoping for, that they can squeeze and squeeze and squeeze until the regime he described collapsed. They've tried it many many many decades and it hasn't actually worked. I think also he said things like, you know, we will not allow American cities to be threatened. Well that's not Iran's missile program. That's actually North Korea's missile program that can reach the United States. And he said things like we united with our allies. Well, that is clearly not the case around this deal. Of course everybody would rather see a better, bigger, and more comprehensive deal. But the allies had ideas of trying to do add-ons or the like. It was never going to be possible at the time that they negotiated that deal.
And finally I think to the questions by the reporters that were hurled at the president as he went out, how does this make America safer, it is incredibly difficult to try to fathom that sitting from here. All those things that he laid out about the danger of Iran, about his regional ambitions, about supporting terrorism and the like, how does pulling out of one deal that constrains -- and it does, no matter what the president says, the deal constrains Iran's nuclear program. So how does pulling out of it make you safe while you are trying to deal with all the other things when you have no plan B?
It's very important also to remember that it was George W. Bush along with his regime change crew that decided to ditch the Clinton administration's deal with North Korea in the early 2000s. What did that do? They pulled out of the NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty]. They kicked out the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] inspectors. And now, they are conducting nuclear blackmail, because they actually do have nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles. That is a possibility going forward. That is what the president has opened the door to. Now, whether Iran decides to stay in the deal, whether the Europeans can make it work, we'll see, but that is the worst case scenario, that it's back to military confrontation. How else do you work this out?