Mahmood Hosseini | TIMA | Reuters
A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran, March 9, 2016.
Walker also said that if the Trump administration can’t keep both issues in check at the same time, “they should quit and go home.”
“President Trump has put himself at a terrible disadvantage by leaving key posts at the State Department unfilled and by not hiring qualified staff fast enough,” said Walker, who served under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
In an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” last week, Michael O’Hanlon, a Brookings Institution specialist in defense strategy, warned that Iran is watching what’s happening on the Korean Peninsula closely and using it as a test. He asked rhetorically, “What lessons will Iran draw if North Korea gets away with not only getting a bomb, but building up continuously with China and Russia tolerating it?”
While the North Korean nuclear front is clearly escalating, tensions with Iran are hardly dissipating. After the White House said it wants inspections of Iranian military facilities, a spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry mocked the push, reportedly calling it “possibly something that a satirist wrote up.”
RAND’s Nader said the Trump administration would be wise to not push for more inspections of Iran just for the sake of testing the nuclear deal.
“If there is true suspicion of Iranian cheating or violating the accord, then the U.S. should increase inspections,” said Nader. But, he added, the North Korea crisis is a great example of why the current deal is so important. “Iran is under a heavy inspections regime, North Korea was not.”