US Senator: No Time to Tear Up Iran Deal

US Senator: No Time to Tear Up Iran DealUS Senator: No Time to Tear Up Iran Deal

US President Donald Trump should only withdraw from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal after the Islamic Republic violates the deal amid heavy enforcement.

This was declared by Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker to a Washington Post audience, the Daily Caller reported on Thursday. Corker’s guidance follows assertions from Trump that he will likely scuttle the nuclear deal in September when he is required to reaffirm Tehran’s compliance to Congress.

“If it was up to me, I would have had them noncompliant 180 days ago,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal last Tuesday, adding that “I would be surprised if they were in compliance” in 90 days.

Trump was successfully persuaded not to the scuttle the deal on July 18 after his national security team implored him not to do so. Trump is reportedly angry that the Islamic Republic continues to support resistance groups like Hezbollah and pursues its ballistic missile program.

Corker reiterated the position of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, saying, “You can only tear the agreement up one time. So when you’re going to tear it up since nothing bad is happening today.”

  Lost Leverage  

“We gave up all of our leverage already. So wait until you have your allies aligned with you. Radically enforce it. If you radically enforce it, they’re liable and right now, I know that we’re asking—I know we’re asking to get into various facilities in Iran. If they don’t let us in, boom,” he said.

US proponents for staying in the deal say withdrawing from the deal would essentially allow Iran to keep all of the sanctions relief money it got in 2015-16 while not having to comply with nuclear site inspections. Corker appeared to endorse the current course the Trump administration has adopted, which is to reaffirm Iran’s compliance with the deal but sanction it heavily over other activities.

Some opponents of the deal in the US hope the sanctions could cause Iran to withdraw from the deal, absolving Trump of having to make the decision. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described new US sanctions on Iran as a violation of the 2015 agreement, in a recent interview with the New York Times.

Zarif has previously cast any US efforts at punishing Iran for its purely defensive ballistic missile program or ongoing support for the Syrian government in an alliance with Russia and Turkey as violations of the nuclear deal, indicating that the country may withdraw if it sees no increased economic benefit in the coming year.


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