JCPOA Pullout Would Damage Washington’s International Credibility

JCPOA Pullout Would Damage Washington’s International CredibilityJCPOA Pullout Would Damage Washington’s International Credibility

US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker warned on Tuesday that withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal could have consequences for the ongoing crisis with North Korea as US President Donald Trump faces critical deadlines on the accord.

"I hope at some point we're going to enter into a very binding agreement with North Korea, and if it's believed that we withdrew from a military agreement when there aren't material violations … then it makes it more difficult for people to believe we're going to abide by another agreement," Corker told reporters, according to the Hill.

Democratic lawmakers and other supporters of the Iran deal have argued for months that Trump scrapping the nuclear accord could imperil any diplomatic effort with North Korea by showing the United States cannot be trusted to keep its deals.

Beginning this week, Trump faces a number of deadlines related to the nuclear agreement that could kill the deal or keep it afloat.

On Thursday, Trump again has to tell congress whether the deal remains in the US national interest. Trump refused to make the certification the last time the deadline rolled around, but because it is a requirement of US law, and not the deal itself, that move did not kill the accord.

In the days after Thursday's certification deadline, Trump will also have to decide whether to continue waiving sanctions lifted as part of the deal. Failure to continue waiving sanctions would likely be seen by Iran as a violation, leading to the agreement's death.

Corker has been working with the administration on legislation that would aim to address Trump's call to fix the accord without violating its terms.

The senator said progress continues to be made with Democrats and European allies on the legislation, but that he still does not expect to have a concrete product by this week's deadlines.

"We've gotten to a really good place; now the question is can we get there fully."

Even if legislation comes to fruition, Corker added, Trump "still could get out of" the deal.

But Corker offered up three reasons why he believes now is not the time to withdraw from the accord. One was the North Korea issue. He also expressed concern about drawing attention away from economic protests in Iran and losing leverage with European allies.

"Right now, because of the concerns they have about President Trump withdrawing," Corker said of Europe, "they're much more willing to work with us on lots of other issues, and so you lose that leverage if you just withdraw."


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints