Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, days before Trump’s May 12 deadline about the future of the landmark deal arrives, Representative Mac Thornberry said he “would counsel against” the a possible decision to quit.
Trump is a few weeks away from making a decision on the future of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Iran agreed under the deal with the US, the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany to limit parts of its peaceful nuclear program in exchange for removal of all nuclear-related sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
However, Trump thinks that the JCPOA, achieved under his predecessor Barack Obama, is flawed and needs to be “fixed” or otherwise scrapped in its entirety.
Trump wants the deal to guarantee unlimited access to Iran’s military sites for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s inspectors.
He has asked the European signatories of the deal to “fix” the deal or he will pull out. Iran, however, says it will never accept a renegotiation or a new deal.
“Maybe the best thing is for the president to delay a bit more his deadline of this month and put the French and the British up to the test about whether it is possible to get this other sort of agreement,” the Texas lawmaker argued.
He also said while he was once a critic of the deal himself, exiting it today was bound to take away Washington’s leverage.
“I thought it was a bad deal,” he said. “But the key question is, ok, what happens next if the US pulls out? Does Iran kick out those inspectors so we lose the visibility we have?”
Thornberry said Trump should work with Europeans to address the possible flaws in the accord instead of scrapping it. This, he further argued, would divide the US from its key allies.
“The Europeans are not going to re-impose sanctions so where does that leave us and Iran?” Thornberry said.