On Saturday, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), a 2020 candidate for president, told MSNBC’s Alex Witt that the rapidly escalating tensions between the United States and Iran are President Donald Trump’s fault — and explained how he would do things differently if he is elected.
“Before we get to the debate, I just want to ask you, if you were the president right now, how would you be addressing the situation with Iran?” asked Witt. “Do you think you would try to de-escalate the tensions and move forward in some fashion? Have you given some thought to that?”
“Of course you want to de-escalate it,” said Ryan. “The war in the Middle East at this point, in addition to what’s going on in Iraq and Syria and all of the other activity there, would be a disaster.”
“We would not be in this position if I was president, Alex, because we had a peace deal with Iran,” said Ryan. “Everybody needs to remember that this president took us out of a long, tedious negotiated peace deal with Iran to make sure that they did not have nuclear weapons. And then he recklessly got us out of it. Then he put John Bolton in a very high position, and John Bolton has been talking about regime change in Iran for a long time and the president doesn’t pay too close of attention on some of these issues.”
“What the hell did he think was going to happen?” said Ryan. “Here we are in the middle of escalated tensions in the Middle East. Russia is an ally with Iran. Russia’s been deeply involved in our elections, trying to destroy our democracy, so, of course, they’re partnering with Iran now. And I’m sure they are in some way, shape, or form behind what’s going on here. Because they want to try to destroy us. And of course you’ve have John Bolton there. So escalating tensions, we’re running trillion dollar deficits, so now get us engaged in something that will hurt the global economy, destabilize the region and further get Americans involved in something we don’t necessarily want to be involved in. This is completely reckless but most importantly, it was preventable.”
“Do you think you would you try to put us back in this deal?” asked Witt. “Would that be one way you would deal with it?”
“I would most certainly try to get us back into the Iranian deal … It was a good deal,” said Ryan. “It was preventing Iran from having nuclear weapons. And now we’re going to have a nuclear weapon race in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and these other countries are going to all want their own nuclear weapons to try to protect themselves. That’s why they had this deal done. Even Russia was supporting it. And the president took us out of it, and now John Bolton, a regime changer for Iran, is in a top position for us. It makes no sense.”
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