Mattis breaks with Trump and backs U.S. staying in Iran nuclear deal

“Do you believe it’s in our national security interests at the present time to remain in the JCPOA?” King asked, adding after a brief pause, “That’s a yes-or-no question.”

Mattis himself paused several seconds before answering, “Yes, senator, I do.”

The defense secretary later elaborated, saying he supported a “rigorous review.”

“If we can confirm that Iran is living by the agreement, if we can determine that this is in our best interest, then clearly we should stay with it,” Mattis said. “I believe at this point in time, absent indications to the contrary, it is something the president should consider staying with.”