POLITICS
07/26/2015 11:29 am ET Updated Jul 27, 2015

Kasich Wouldn't Cancel Iran Deal, Would Send Troops To Fight ISIS

Unlike some of his Republican rivals, the Ohio governor suggested that he wouldn't immediately rip up Obama’s agreement with Iran if elected president.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican presidential candidate, suggested that he wouldn't immediately revoke President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran if he were to be elected president.

But he would send U.S. ground troops to the Middle East to fight the Islamic State, the radical group known as ISIS or ISIL that has taken control of a huge swath of Syria and Iraq.

Kasich's comments aired Sunday during an interview on NBC News' "Meet The Press." It comes after other Republican presidential aspirants, such as Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, said they'd cancel the deal immediately after assuming office if they were to win the election.

"You know what that is? That's inexperience. That's just playing to a crowd," Kasich said in response to questions about whether he'd tear up the deal upon assuming office.

Kasich said he opposes the Iran nuclear deal -- which seeks to prevent the Islamic Republic from building a nuclear bomb in exchange for relief from sanctions that have crippled its economy in recent years -- and hopes the U.S. Senate ultimately will reject it.

But if the deal were to be finalized, Kasich indicated he'd wait for Iran to violate its terms before he canceled the agreement.

"I expect that we're probably going to see some violations of this agreement. And then the deal gets ripped up and then we've got to slap these sanctions back on," Kasich said, adding that he'd rather see the sanctions expanded.

The Ohio governor said he prefers prolonging economic pressure on Iran over Obama's deal, citing the U.S. experience with the former Soviet Union. "Crushing Iran economically will lead them to a change in behavior," Kasich said, adding that he reckons Iran would "collapse" if U.S. and Western sanctions were to continue.

Still, Kasich added, if he were to be elected president, "everything is on the table" when it comes to how he would handle Iran.

Separately, the Ohio governor said he would send U.S. troops to fight a ground war against the Islamic State.

"You've got the air power, but you can't solve anything just with air power," Kasich said.

Obama has resisted sending a large contingent of U.S. ground troops to fight the Islamic State.

CONVERSATIONS