Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he believes Donald Trump will quit the Iran nuclear deal sometime in May.
According to Politico, Corker said, “The Iran deal will be another issue that’s coming up in May, and right now it doesn’t feel like it’s going to be extended. I think the president likely will move away from it, unless my — our European counterparts really come together on a framework. And it doesn’t feel to me that they are.”
Corker believes that Trump’s major concerns with the deal are unrelated to their nuclear program and revolve around the expansion of their missile program as well as their sponsoring of terrorism and meddling in Syria and Yemen.
Accusing Iran of bad behavior that includes funding groups labeled by the U.S. as terrorist organizations, Trump announced last October that he would decertify Iran’s compliance with the deal, asking Congress to pass legislation that could trigger penalties for the Islamic republic.
More recently, Trump extended the nuclear deal last January, waiving economic sanctions on Iran but declaring that he would not do so again when the next deadline hits in May unless Congress and U.S. allies in Europe dramatically strengthen the nuclear agreement.
“This is a last chance,” Trump said in January. “Either fix the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw.”
Trump’s firing of Secretary Tillerson and other foreign policy and national security personnel moves were clear signs that he will up the pressure on Iran to change the deal.
The world will react badly to this decision, but it’s the right one. The deal’s fatal flaw was that it did nothing to stop Iran’s dangerous destabilization of the Middle East and its ever-growing arsenal of missiles that threaten Israel. As for the nuclear program, it only temporarily halted Iran’s drive to build the bomb — and not very effectively.
In return for virtually nothing, we handed a terrorist state $100 billion, which saved the regime from collapse and is now allowing them to modernize their army as well as fund their interventionist policy throughout the region.
Iran’s use of its Lebanese proxy army Hezbollah in Syria has resulted in horrific losses among civilians and the maintenance of one of the most brutal dictators in the world, President Bashar Assad.
Taken altogether, the nuclear deal changed the world, but not quite the way that President Obama thought it would. Instead of putting a halt to the regime’s rogue activities, it emboldened the Iranians to expand their hegemonic designs.
If we pull out of the deal, there will be sighs of relief among our Sunni Arab allies in the Gulf and Trump will have Israel’s gratitude. The president may not be able to replace all the sanctions on Iran that were previously in place. But if Iran shows signs of reviving its nuclear program, most western nations will have no choice but to follow our lead.