Secretary of State Rex Tillerson laid out a new approach to Iranian belligerence in a State Department press conference Wednesday. The White House will not, he said, adopt President Obama's failed approach of “strategic patience.”
“An unchecked Iran,” Tillerson said, has the potential to take the same path as North Korea “and take the world along with it.”
Iran boasts one of the worst human rights record in the world, routinely jailing political opponents. It continues to support the Assad regime in Syria and just this week conducted a military parade in which their weapons displayed the message “death to Israel.”
The regime also continues to launch ballistic missiles in defiance of the UN Security Council resolution.
“It is their habit to unsettle people and nations,” Tillerson said.
The secretary of state then specifically addressed the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. That agreement, he said, “fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran.”
The deal represents the same “failed approach of the past” that brought us to the threat of North Korea, he noted. “Buying off a power for a short period of time” is not a prudent way to deal with Iran.
The Trump administration, however, has “no intention of passing the buck to a future administration."
The White House is conducting a comprehensive review of the nuclear deal and will then meet the challenges with “clarity and conviction.”