Bolton: Trump hasn't decided whether to leave Iran deal

National Security Advisor says Trump undecided on leaving the Iran nuclear deal ahead of his May 12 deadline.

Elad Benari,

John Bolton
John Bolton
Reuters

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Sunday that President Trump still has not decided whether to leave the Iran nuclear deal ahead of his May 12 deadline.

"He is certainly considering the framework, the four pillars that [French President Emmanuel Macron] laid out in their meetings last week," Bolton told Fox News.

"And that I think is something that is of interest to the president and worth pursuing, but in terms specifically of the nuclear deal, there's no decision on that yet," he added.

Bolton said there was still some hope for European partners looking to convince Trump to amend the agreement rather than simply walk away from it.

"He's certainly said very negative things about the deal, which implied that these other steps wouldn't really address that concern, but it's possible in the discussions with our European allies that we will be able to see some possibility there," Bolton said.

Trump has set a May 12 deadline for Europe to fix the flaws of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, signed by his predecessor Barack Obama.

Macron last week visited Washington and met with Trump in an attempt to reach a compromise that would fix the flaws of the deal while allowing Washington not to withdraw from it.

Iranian leaders have rejected any changes to the deal. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recently warned the United States there would be “unpleasant” consequences if it pulls out of the 2015 agreement.

Last week, Zarif said that if the United States withdraws from the deal, his country will likely do so as well.

Meanwhile on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Israel and met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. During the meeting, Pompeo vowed that the White House will reach an agreement to improve the deal, or else the U.S. will withdraw from the controversial agreement.

On Friday, Pompeo said that Trump has not yet made a final decision on the matter but is “unlikely” to stay in the Iran nuclear deal unless it is substantially fixed.

"There's been no decision made, so the team is working, and I'm sure we'll have lots of conversations to deliver what the president has made clear,” he said, adding, “Absent a substantial fix, absent overcoming the shortcomings, the flaws of the deal, he is unlikely to stay in that deal past this May.”


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