In his September speech to the U.N. General Assembly, President Trump expressed disdain for the Iran deal created under President Obama and noted that the world hadn’t “heard the last of it.”
WASHINGTON — Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker said Friday he will introduce legislation to fix “major flaws” in the Iran nuclear deal — a step he says will eventually solidify and strengthen the agreement even as President Trump moves to undermine it.
The Tennessee Republican’s proposal comes as Trump prepares to announce that he will refuse to certify Iran’s compliance with the multi-lateral agreement, negotiated in 2015 by the U.S. and five other countries to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
Trump’s move will leave the Iran deal in place — for now — and shift the spotlight to Congress. Trump will ask lawmakers to address what he says are weaknesses in the deal, and Corker’s proposal appears designed to respond to that request.
“We have provided a route to overcome deficiencies and to keep the administration in the deal,” Corker told reporters in a conference call Friday.
The main element of Corker’s proposal, co-authored by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., would automatically reimpose U.S. sanctions on Iran if the country violates “enhanced and existing restrictions on its nuclear program,” according to a summary provided by Corker’s office.
The measure would also nix the “sunset” provisions in the current agreement, which critics say allow Iran to quickly ramp up its uranium enrichment program after eight years. By year 15 of the deal, all the restrictions in the agreement will expire, which critics say would put Iran on the brink of a “nuclear breakout.”
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