As President Donald Trump’s self-imposed deadline to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal approaches, outgoing Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) warned on Wednesday that Trump really will withdraw the United States from the agreement if his demands are not met.
The Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is one of former President Barack Obama’s signature foreign policy achievements that successfully reduced Iran’s ability to manufacture a nuclear weapon. The agreement was joined by the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, and Germany.
Iran has been complying with the terms ever since it was enacted. Last year, despite Trump’s obsession with killing the agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran has adhered to the agreement.
In addition, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson contradicted Trump by admitting that Iran is complying.
Even General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reported that Iran is complying.
“The briefings I have received indicate that Iran is adhering to its obligations. … [The deal] has delayed Iran’s development of nuclear weapons.”
So, it appears that only Trump and the most hawkish of Republicans are upset about the deal, even though it is working.
But Corker warned during a breakfast event sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor that Trump will pull the trigger on withdrawing from the deal if the May 12th deadline he set passes without the action he is demanding from our European allies.
Trump is “perfectly fine walking away,” Corker said, going on to say that if:
“…Nothing changes between now and May 12, the president is absolutely going to withdraw from the agreement.”
“I think many of the people around the president… would like to see a framework agreement achieved. I think that’s a better outcome for our nation both in the short and long-term. I don’t think there’s any doubt at all.”
Trump set deadlines before that have come and gone without any move to kill the deal. In fact, Trump has grudgingly re-certified the deal because Iran is in compliance. But since Trump fired Tillerson and nominated current CIA Director and Iran hawk Mike Pompeo to succeed him, it certainly seems like Trump is laying the groundwork to prevent the deal from being saved this time around.
Not only would killing the deal hurt our reputation on the world stage and among our allies, it would give Iran a reason to restart their pursuit of nuclear weapons. And we all know that Trump is just itching for any reason to march American troops into a war. And the last thing America needs is a conflict with Iran, which would make Syria look like a mere skirmish.
Ripping up the Iran deal would not only be a dangerous threat to world peace that damages our standing on the international stage, it would be absolutely pointless.
The Iran deal did what it was designed to do. It reduced Iran’s stockpile of uranium from the unacceptable levels allowed by the George W. Bush administration and Iran has complied with the deal. We should honor our commitment and keep the deal in place.
Featured Image by the United States Congress via Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain.