STEERING THE SHIP

Report: White House Intervened to Toughen Up Iran Deal Letter

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, President Donald Trump told aides last week to toughen up the language in a State Department letter that declared that Iran is in compliance with the Obama-era nuclear deal. Top White House officials told the Journal that the initial letter was deemed too soft because it didn’t include language about Tehran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East and support for regional terror groups. Trump himself is reported to have personally weighed in on the language of the letter, which was sent to Congress on April 18. A senior administration official confirmed to The Daily Beast that the White House moved to toughen the language as part of reviewing the Iran deal. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the review. Subsequently, Trump also reportedly told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to issue a public message saying that the administration was planning a policy shift on Iran. “An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and take the world along with it,” Tillerson said at the State Department on April 19.