Trump blames Corker for Iran nuclear deal as week of proliferation showdowns loom

by WorldTribune Staff, October 9, 2017

In this corner: Republican Sen. Bob Corker and the New York Times. Opposing those once powerful forces is President Donald Trump and his twitter account.

As the world watches how the U.S. president will handle nuclear proliferation crises in Iran and North Korea that he correctly says he inherited from his predecessors, the gloves are coming off.

Sen. Bob Corker was a Trump campaign adviser on national security.

“Bob Corker gave us the Iran Deal, & that’s about it. We need HealthCare, we need Tax Cuts/Reform, we need people that can get the job done!” Trump tweeted on Oct. 8.

In an interview with The New York Times published on Oct. 8, Corker reacted, saying Trump was treating the presidency like “a reality show,” with reckless threats to other countries that could set the nation “on the path to World War III.”

Trump is expected by Oct. 15 to decertify Iranian compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Congress would then have 60 days to re-impose crippling sanctions.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton has said he would not push for sanctions once the 60-day clock starts in Congress.

At the Council on Foreign Relations on Oct. 3, Cotton said that would be a “backward-looking step.” Instead, Cotton said, “Congress and the president, working together, should lay out how the deal must change and, if it doesn’t, the consequences Iran will face.”

Iran and North Korea are both developing nuclear weapons and are closely watching how the U.S. handles the other.

Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, co-wrote the measure requiring congressional approval for the JCPOA and required the president to certify that Iran was in compliance with the accord every 90 days.

In the past, Corker has said he considers the Iran deal flawed, but he has expressed opposition to abandoning the agreement.

Corker announced last month that he is retiring from Congress after his current term expires next year.

In a tweet, Trump alleged that Corker had “begged” for his endorsement for re-election and then decided not to run after Trump refused to back him.

Corker, who advised Trump on national security during the 2016 campaign and was once considered a candidate for vice president, “also wanted to be Secretary of State, I said “NO THANKS,” Trump tweeted. “He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!” Trump said in a second tweet.

In response to Trump’s tweets, Corker wrote: “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”

In its latest report on the deal, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Aug. 31 said that Iran remains in compliance with the terms of the agreement, though U.S. officials have noted that Iran has not permitted the IAEA to inspect military sites.

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