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U.S. Senator Says Trump Likely To Withdraw From Iran Deal

U.S. Senator Bob Corker

A senior U.S. senator says he believes President Donald Trump will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal in May.

The comments by Bob Corker (Republican-Tennessee), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a television interview broadcast March 18 came less than two months before Trump must decide whether to extend U.S. sanctions relief to Tehran under the landmark deal.

"The Iran deal will be another issue that's coming up in May, and right now it doesn't feel like it's going to be extended," Corker told the U.S. network CBS. "I think the president likely will move away from it, unless my, our European counterparts really come together on a framework."

Asked whether he believes Trump will pull out of the deal when the May 12 deadline for a White House decision on extending the accord comes, Corker said: "I do. I do."

The 2015 deal -- signed by Iran with the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia -- put limits on Iran's nuclear program in return for the easing of economic sanctions against the country.

Reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have consistently shown Iran adhering to the deal in the two years since it took effect.

Trump has threatened to withdraw the United States from the accord unless European allies and the U.S. Congress agree by May 12 to fix what he called its "disastrous flaws" and impose tough new restrictions aimed at curbing Iran's ballistic-missile development and its involvement in regional conflicts.

With reporting by CBS News, Reuters, AP, and AFP