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Trump Assembling Team of Fierce Iran Deal Opponents


President-elect Donald Trump has been assembling a national security team stacked with fierce opponents of last year’s comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran, signaling what is expected to be a major departure from the Obama administration’s final bid to preserve the deal before leaving office, according to multiple sources familiar with Trump’s transition plans.

Trump has been installing well-known opponents of the deal to key national security posts for the incoming administration, including at the White House National Security Council, the CIA, and the Department of Defense.

This includes his selection of retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) as CIA director, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser, picks that have won plaudits for their vocal opposition to the nuclear deal.

“It’s no secret that Flynn considers Iran to be the linchpin of a global alliance of hostile rivals seeking to undermine American interests,” said once source familiar with the backroom talks about future national security picks. “He was in the Middle East during the Iraq war and knows first-hand how Iranian proxies killed hundreds of American troops, and he has seen the intelligence showing that they’ve targeted Americans around the world.”

“As long as Iran keeps acting like an enemy of the United States, his NSC will accurately convey that to the president, and he’s building a staff that will make sure of that,” the source added.

Other recent national security picks include KT McFarland, a longtime national security analyst and commentator who has vocally criticized Iran and the nuclear deal, and Yleem Poblete, who served for nearly two decades as a senior staffer for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

A senior congressional aide familiar with Poblete’s work on key national security matters told the Washington Free Beacon that Trump’s picks would not back down from a showdown with Iran as it continues to fund terrorism across the Middle East.

“It’s apparent that President-elect Trump is taking a fundamentally different approach to national security and foreign policy than the current administration,” the source said. “Selecting Rep. Pompeo to head up the CIA, General Flynn as national security adviser, and General Mattis as defense secretary shows that the new administration will not…

Continue reading at The Washington Free Beacon


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