Alice Ollstein contributed reporting.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal “just doesn’t make sense to me.”
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Flake said Trump’s withdrawal would be “just another signal to the world that we’re not a reliable partner.”
Read Flake’s full comments to reporters below:
Iran has already realized the benefits, which were front-loaded, in terms of sanctions relief and the release of these funds that were held in dispute, billions of dollars. And now, by our unilateral exit, it would give them license to renege on the nuclear aspects of the deal. So the West has upheld its end of the bargain, which was mostly front-loaded, and now Iran could get out of their agreement, and that just doesn’t make sense to me.
And also, I think, one of the most important things is, it’s just another signal to the world that we’re not a reliable partner. We begin negotiations, like on the [Trans-Pacific Partnership] and then we exit them. Or here, we actually execute an agreement, a new President comes in, and we’re out.
We’ve had a rules-based order that we have helped establish for 70 years post-World War II. And to see us just vacillate and move in and out, whether it’s tariffs that are imposed, and then certain countries exempted, it’s not so rules-based anymore, it’s ad-hoc, and we’re just not seen as a reliable partner.
We’re going to need to work with our allies, closely partner with them to address security challenges like North Korea, and the knock-on effects of us exiting here are not good.