Republican presidential candidate John Kasich took a dramatic shift in his position on the Iran nuclear deal, following new reports of Iranian missile tests.
During a town hall broadcast on Fox News’ “On the Record” program on Wednesday, Kasich said that he would “suspend” the nuclear deal and “put the sanctions back on” after Iran violated the spirit of the international accord.
“I would want to hear all the details. And now what I would say, after learning about the details, is I would actually move to suspend the nuclear agreement because these missile tests, and particularly with the inflammatory language about destroying Israel, is so bad, such a violation of the spirit of agreement, I would suspend it, and try to get our allies to suspend it,” Kasich told Greta Van Susteren. ” I’d put the sanctions back on, and say, ‘Look, we tried to make an agreement with you. This is not just about all the crossed Ts and dotted Is, this is also about the spirit of that agreement, which you now have violated.’ That’s what I would do.”
Back in December, Kasich dismissed Marco Rubio’s call for all presidential candidates to vow to rip up the Iran deal on their first day in office as “premature.” But Kasich promised to respond to any violation and make sure that both the U.S. and the world reimpose sanctions on Iran. “If we see any violations, not only should we reimpose sanctions but so should our allies,” he said. “And that’s what will give us the strength.”
On Wednesday, Kasich explained, “I did not say we need to rip it up on day one, because we don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t know — but now, that this has happened, if I were president, I would call them and say, ‘I’m sorry, but we’re suspending this agreement.’ And while it may not be a direct violation, it is a violation of the whole intent of the improving of relations, and you violated the whole thing. And I would say, look, you get your act together and get back to us. That’s what I would do.”