The National Rifle Association’s new president, Oliver North — a man who, during the Reagan administration, played a central role in the Iran-Contra scandal and admitted he lied to Congress — has appeared on Fox News two times in as many days to accuse Iran of being a nation of deceivers.
“Never believe an Iranian — because if their lips are moving, they’re lying,” North told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday night while discussing the rockets that Israel has accused Iran of firing at their territory from Syria.
The day before, North had repeated that phrase, almost verbatim, while discussing the Iran nuclear deal on “Fox & Friends” in the hours before Trump announced America’s withdrawal from the accord.
“The Iranians have been lying. Every time their lips move, they’re lying,” North said, suggesting that Iran had not abandoned its nuclear ambitions despite the agreement.
He added that Trump should sanction anyone who does business with Iran going forward. “If we sanction [Iran] again, we ought to sanction anybody else who does business with them,” North said. “That’ll stop the Euros from helping to bail them out while they cheat on this program.”
U.S. allies France, Germany and Britain have not withdrawn from the deal. On Wednesday, France’s foreign secretary, Jean-Yves Le Drian, described Trump’s decision to leave the accord as “isolationist, protectionist and unilateral.”
North, who was announced as the NRA’s president on Monday, has a controversial history with Iran.
While serving on the National Security Council during the Reagan administration, North played a key role in spearheading the clandestine sale of weapons to Iran in a bid to secure the release of U.S. hostages held in Lebanon and then using the proceeds from the weapon sales to fund the anti-revolutionary Contra rebels in Nicaragua ― even though Congress had banned such support.
North was later found guilty of lying to Congress about the affair, shredding government documents and receiving an illegal gratuity. His convictions were overturned on appeal in 1991.
During his interview of North on Wednesday, Hannity appeared to allude to the NRA president’s murky past while discussing the release this week of three American hostages from North Korea.
“You know a thing or two about the release of hostages,” the host said.
“Boy,” North responded, appearing to concur.