Kaine: Trump Has No Idea How to Handle Iran

Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine on Tuesday asserted that Donald Trump has no idea how to deal with Iran’s threat to international peace and stability in the Middle East.

“We have no idea how Donald Trump would handle Iran – and frankly, neither does he,” Kaine said in a speech, billed as a “major national security speech,” in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The Virginia Senator mocked Trump for confusing Iran’s Quds force with the Kurds, an ethnolinguistically Iranian group mostly inhabiting a contiguous area spanning adjacent parts of eastern and southeastern Turkey, western Iran and northern Iraq, known as Kurdistan.

Drawing a contrast with the Rpeublican ticket, Kaine touted his role, as well as the role his running mate Hillary Clinton played, in setting up a constructive process that led to congressional approval of the deal. “Thanks in part to the global sanctions coalition that Hillary Clinton assembled, and negotiations that she initiated, President Obama ultimately achieved a historic agreement that put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot,” he said. “I worked across the aisle with Republican Senator Bob Corker to craft a bill that set up a constructive process for Congressional review of the Iran Deal. This process ultimately improved the deal by strengthening our hand in negotiations, instead of undercutting it through partisan politics.”

In recent weeks, amid new reports that Iran was secretly allowed to evade certain restrictions so that it could begin receiving sanctions relief and given a cash payment of $400 million contingent on the releasing of American hostages, Trump blasted the deal, claiming it has put Iran on a path towards nuclear weapons. The Republican presidential candidate further suggested that Clinton now owns President Obama’s Iran policy. “By helping put together a deal that ultimately sent $400 million to Iran that was likely used to fund terrorism, Clinton has proven herself unfit to be president of the United States,” he said at a campaign rally last month.

On Monday, during a roundtable with union workers in Ohio, Trump said the result of the Iranian nuclear deal “is going to destroy Israel — unless I get elected. Then Israel will be just fine.”

Speaking at a town hall in Virginia on Tuesday, Trump said that he will “solve that problem if I get the chance.”

Trump has been vague about his position on enforcing the deal if elected as president in the fall. In fact, he has been on both sides of the issue since the international accord was signed last year.

“My number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran,” Trump assured the Jewish community during his address at AIPAC’s policy conference in March.

However, in August 2015, Trump said he would strictly enforce the nuclear agreement with Iran and work to improve it. “We have a horrible contract, but we do have a contract,” Trump said. “I have all my life — I love to buy bad contracts where … and I make those contracts good. This is a perfect example of taking over a bad contract. I will find something in that contract that will be very, very well-scrutinized by us, and I think they will not be able to do it, whatever it may be.”



Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.