Corker: Enforce Iran trade deal before ripping it up

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says that ripping up the Iran nuclear deal, as President-elect Donald Trump proposed on the campaign trail, is not a good idea, reports the Times-Free Press:

Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a critic of the deal that outgoing President Obama negotiated with Tehran leaders last year, said he expects the incoming Trump administration should and will do more to enforce what he said were ongoing violations of the pact by the Iranian government. But since the U.S. government and its allies have already returned billions of dollars of once-frozen assets to Iran, Corker cautioned against tearing up the deal once Trump is sworn into office in January.

“I don’t think that (repealing the deal) is a very good place to start,” Corker told reporters during a Chattanooga visit today. “If you tear the agreement up on the front end, it’s almost like cutting your nose off to spite your face because they already have access to all of their dollars.”

…Corker, who was briefly considered as a possible vice presidential pick by Trump this summer and is reportedly still a potential candidate for Secretary of State in the Trump cabinet, said the U.S. should first work with its allies to enforce the existing agreement before throwing it out and trying to negotiate a new pact.

“There is a new tone and a lot of actual action that a new president can take to push back on (the Iranian’s military) activities in the region, which is just the opposite of what the Obama administration is doing,” Corker said.

Corker said the Obama administration “knows there are these violations,” but he said “they are not going these things to push back” against the Iranian violations and are working with banks in Europe and elsewhere “to encourage them to do business with Iran.”

Corker opposed the Iranian deal last year, which Trump has repeatedly denounced and said he could scrap on his first day in office.

“One of the reasons that I opposed this treaty so strongly is that we gave up all of our leverage on the front end,” Corker said. “To me the best route for the new president to handle this is to push back on the violations that are taking place today.”

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