One day after Iran defied Trump with a new missile tests and threatened enemies with "roaring missiles" following Friday's Iran sanctions, confirming our Friday report, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that despite the troubling escalation in sanctions, the Iran Nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration is likely to remain in place.
"A lot of that toothpaste is already out of the tube. I never supported the deal in the first place. I thought it was a huge mistake, but the multilateral sanctions are done," Ryan said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" airing Sunday.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) February 4, 2017
"I don't think you're going to go back and reconstitute the multilateral sanctions that were put in place," Ryan said.
While most Republicans have strongly criticized the deal, warning it doesn't go far enough in ensuring that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons, Ryan maintained that the U.S. should "expend our effort where it can pay off the most," while not ignoring the numerous transgressions with Iran.
"And that's why I think what they're doing now does make a lot of sense. So I think the key is to rigorously enforce this deal," he said. "But also, remember, they're testing ballistic missiles. They're still the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Human rights abuses galore. And so those are where I think we also need to ratchet up sanctions."
When asked if he was concerned that Iran would retaliate, Ryan said that the U.S. is "appeasing [Iran] already." "But look what they were doing, we're appeasing them already. So it couldn't get worse," Ryan maintained in the interview. Ryan also disagreed with the notion that Russia is a similarly destabilizing force in the region. "Nobody holds a candle to Iran's destabilization. So I think — I don't think you can equate those two," he said.
Separately, also speaking on the topic of Iran, Vice President Mike Pence would not directly answer a question about whether the administration has set a "red line" on Iran's missile program by saying last week that Tehran is "on notice." “As the president said ... all options are on the table, “ Pence told Fox News when asked how far the White House is willing to go its response to Iran.
Later, when speaking to ABC, the VP once again tried to force Iran to back off its provocative moves, which just yesterday resulted in a fresh round of missile tests the day after the US Treasury launched new sactions against 25 Iranian individuals and entities: “The Iranians would do well to look at the calendar and recognize we have a new president,“ Pence said Sunday. “What we’re seeing here is hostile action, belligerent action,” he added. “We’re not going to put up with it anymore. “
"Iran would do well not to test the resolve of this new president" - VP Pence pic.twitter.com/SkLRUC1Yhb
— Leo Lord-Jones (@leolordjones) February 5, 2017
Meanwhile, Iran ISNA news agency, citing Gholamhossein Gheybparvar, head of Iran’s paramilitary Basij force, said that President Trump’s comments against Iran are “not well thought through" and added that "our people have witnessed such animosity and we know how to defend ourselves."
ISNA also said that beyond “political slogans” emanating from outside the aviation arena, there are “no issues” with carrying out the recently signed Boeing, Airbus deals, citing Maghsoud Ashadi Samani, secretary of Iran’s Aviation Companies Association. The two companies are “committed” to selling planes to Iran.
Which, at the end of the day, is the bottom line: will Trump dare to escalate Iran sanctions to the point where billions in recently signed deals are unwound due to political intervention from the White House. For now, despite all the breathless posturing, the market - and certainly BA stock - see no reason to worry that Trump will follow through on his with words with actions.