Sen. Corker expects Trump to pull out of Iran deal by May
Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker told Face the Nation he expects that Donald Trump will pull out of the Iran deal by May.
"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," Corker said on the CBS "Face the Nation" program.
Asked if he believed Trump would pull out on May 12, the deadline for the president to issue a new waiver to suspend Iran sanctions as part of the deal, Corker responded, "I do. I do."
Corker's speculation is well founded. Recent personnel moves by the president signal a much tougher stance toward Iran.
In Pompeo, the president will get a bellicose secretary of State who, while serving in Congress in 2014, called for breaking off talks with Tehran and launching hundreds of airstrikes instead against its nuclear facilities – not unlike Trump's vow last year to unleash "fire and fury" against North Korea.
Several diplomats say Trump will have a hard time coaxing North Korea to conclude a nuclear deal if he has just abandoned one with Iran that was unanimously approved by the United Nations Security Council and is closely monitored by U.N. nuclear inspectors – who have found no Iranian violations.
Like the president, Pompeo long has complained that the Obama administration signed a deeply flawed agreement, one Trump calls "the worst deal ever."
In the critics' view, the U.S. should not have agreed to any time limits, known as sunset clauses, in the deal. Most importantly, some nuclear restrictions will expire in 2030, and the opponents say Iran can then again push for a bomb.
Critics also say the exhaustive negotiations – which sought to prevent Iran from designing, building or acquiring nuclear weapons – should have included other Iranian threats, including its ballistic missile program and its support for militant groups in the Middle East.
The world loves the Iran deal because it kept the U.S. from attacking Iran to destroy its nuclear program – or delay it a few years, anyway. In return for delaying the Iranian program (some restrictions on the Iranians will expire in less than five years), Iran got $100 billion to fund terrorism, modernize its army, and finance its expansionist policies.
The E.U. will scramble to try and save the deal by imposing some meaningless sanctions on Iran. But the expanding and improving Iranian ICBM program – aimed almost exclusively at Israel – will not be affected by any sanctions regime established by the E.U.
Iranian proxies continue to run wild in Syria and Yemen while their military capabilities improve. If Trump gets rid of the deal and Iran starts building a weapon, it will give the U.S. the excuse to take out its nuclear program.
That may be what Trump has in mind anyway. Pompeo could become the administration point man to get it done.