President Donald Trump on Sunday described the nuclear deal with Iran as “the worst deal I’ve ever seen negotiated” and accused the Islamic Republic of “disrespecting” the United States because of the deal.
Speaking with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly in an interview which aired before the Super Bowl, Trump was asked whether he believes the U.S. is on a collision course with Iran.
“I think it was the worst deal I’ve ever seen negotiated. I think it was a deal that never should have been negotiated. I think it’s a shame that we’ve had a deal like that and that we had to sign a deal like that and there was no reason to do it and if you’re going to do it, have a good deal,” replied Trump.
“We gave them $1.7 billion in cash, which is unheard of, and we put the money up and we have really nothing to show for it,” he continued.
Asked by O’Reilly if he plans to tear up the deal as he pledged to do during his presidential campaign, Trump replied, “We’ll see what happens. We’re going to see what happens I can say this: They have total disregard for our country. They are the number one terrorist state, they are sending money all over the place, and weapons, and you can’t do that.”
He continued, “I think they have total disrespect for our country and I understand that deal. I would have lived with it if they said ‘OK, were all together now,’ but it’s just the opposite. It’s like they’re emboldened. They follow our planes, they circle our ships with their little boats and they lost respect because they can’t believe anybody could be so stupid as to make a deal like that.”
One of Trump's foreign policy advisers hinted after the election that while Trump might not actually rip up the nuclear deal with Iran, he would act to change it.
Iranian officials, however, have downplayed Trump’s threats to annul the nuclear deal, insisting he cannot do so even if he wishes.
Several weeks ago, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Trump would be “surprised” by his country if he annuls the deal, but did not explain what he meant by that.