Haley: Don't let Iran become 'next North Korea'

Tillerson: Mend, don't end, Iran deal
Tillerson: Mend, don't end, Iran deal


    Tillerson: Mend, don't end, Iran deal


Tillerson: Mend, don't end, Iran deal 00:58

Story highlights

  • "The whole reason we're looking at this Iran agreement is because of North Korea," Haley said
  • She said the US would stay in the deal for now

Washington (CNN)US ambassador Nikki Haley said Sunday the Trump administration's approach to the Iran deal is aimed at avoiding another situation like in North Korea.

"What we're saying now with Iran is don't let it become the next North Korea," the US ambassador to the United Nations said in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press."
President Donald Trump's declaration that Iran was violating the multilateral nuclear agreement and his threat that the US could exit it sent a message that North Korea should not expect the US to make a bad deal, Haley said.
    Trump's threat to pull the US out of the deal with Iran, potentially collapsing the Obama-era agreement, was also intended to pressure North Korea as that nation continues to develop its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile capabilities.
    "The whole reason we're looking at this Iran agreement is because of North Korea," Haley said.
    But despite Trump's move on Friday and her own staunch criticism of the agreement, Haley anticipated that the US would remain in the deal for the time being.
    "I think right now you're going to see us stay in the deal because what we hope is that we can improve the situation, and that's the goal," Haley said. "We're in the deal to see how we can make it better."
    She also said Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford were "not wrong" to say Iran was in compliance with the nuclear agreement.
    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sounded a similar note in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday morning. He said the US was trying to stay in the deal, while seeking improvements and addressing its broader concerns with Iran's actions.
    Trump's move on Friday pushed the issue to Congress, which Haley said the administration hoped would improve the situation.
    "We should let them follow through and see what they can do to make it better," Haley said.
    She claimed Trump would work closely with Congress to try to forge a deal the administration preferred.