00:44 GMT29 July 2021
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    US President-elect Donald Trump can bring an exceptional military professional to lead the Department of Defense if he nominates Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis to become the next secretary of defense, US Senator John McCain said in a statement on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Trump confirmed on Sunday that he is considering Mattis for US secretary of defense after the two met at a golf club in the US state of New Jersey.

    "I am pleased that the president-elect found General Jim Mattis as impressive as I have," McCain wrote in the statement. "General Mattis is one of the finest military officers of his generation and an extraordinary leader who inspires a rare and special admiration of his troops."

    From 2010 to 2013, Mattis served as US commander in Afghanistan and Iraq. He disagreed with President Barack Obama's policies in the Middle East, and in particular with the Iranian nuclear agreement.

    Mattis' stances on Iran are similar to those advocated by Trump during the presidential campaign and supported by his appointee for White House national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

    Trump has repeatedly called for canceling the Iran deal, which was intended to halt Tehran's development of nuclear weapons.


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