Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he expects President Donald Trump to pull out of the Iran deal on May 12. The date marks the next deadline for Trump to decide on whether to re-certify the Iran’s nuclear agreement with the U.S.
Why did he say this?
“The Iran deal will be another issue that’s coming up in May, and right now it doesn’t feel like it’s gonna be extended. I think the president likely will move away from it, unless … our European counterparts really come together on a framework. And it doesn’t feel to me that they are,” Corker said.
Corker was asked if he thinks Trump will pull out of the deal and he said, “I do. I do.”
The move would mark a major step toward fulfilling a campaign promise made by Trump, who has said he wants to end the Iran nuclear agreement. Trump has called it the “worst deal ever.”
Trump recertified the deal at the end of January. But he also warned it would be the final chance for the Islamic Republic to abide by the agreement before the U.S. pulls out.
What was Corker’s role?
Corker, along with Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) authored the legislation signed into law following the Iran deal. It requires certification every 90 days to Congress on whether Iran is complying with the deal former President Barack Obama entered into in 2015.
In the past, Trump’s White House blamed Corker for the Iran deal, “Face the Nation” noted. Corker, together with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), “rolled out the red carpet” for the deal with that legislation, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has claimed.
In part, the agreement limits Iran’s ability to produce plutonium and uranium, two key components in creating nuclear weapons. The Trump administration wants to add requirements that allow sanctions if Iran pursues non-nuclear activities the U.S. deems unacceptable. Such sanctions were waived under the deal approved by Obama.
Would this impact dealings with North Korea?
Corker said he does not believe backing out of the Iran deal will impact negotiations with North Korea. In an unprecedented move, Trump plans to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by the end of May.
“Look, I have used that argument, OK?” Corker said. “But at the end of the day I think this whole situation with North Korea and the way that it’s shaping up right now is, as I mentioned, is somewhat unorthodox, and I think you’re dealing with a leader there that probably doesn’t think the same way that other countries and their leadership might. So, I’m not sure that it’s going to end up having a detrimental effect.”