Condoleezza Rice defends Trump leaving Iran nuclear deal

Condoleezza Rice defends Trump leaving Iran nuclear deal
© Greg Nash

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday that while she would prefer the United States remained part of the Iran nuclear deal, it won’t be “the end of the world” if President TrumpDonald John Trump20 weeks out from midterms, Dems and GOP brace for surprises Sessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Kim Jong Un to visit Beijing this week MORE decides to pull out.

“I probably would have stayed in for alliance management reasons more than anything else,” Rice told “CBS This Morning.” “But I don’t think it’s the end of the world if the administration leaves the agreement.”

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The former Bush official’s remarks come ahead of Trump’s self-imposed May 12 deadline for the U.S. to decide whether it will withdraw from the agreement. Trump has said he will scrap the deal if the U.S.'s European allies don't agree to changes he believes will improve upon it.

Rice said she would not have signed the Obama-era agreement, which provided Tehran with sanctions relief in exchange for curbs to its nuclear program. She pointed to the deal’s verification methods, saying they “were not very strong.”

“The administration’s been worried about this agreement from the very beginning and there’s reason to be worried about the agreement,” she added.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week made his case for why Trump should discard the deal, reiterating his argument that Iran has lied about its nuclear intentions. 

“This is a terrible deal. It should never have been concluded, and in a few days time, President Trump will decide, will make his decision on what to do with the nuclear deal,” Netanyahu said Monday

“I’m sure he’ll do the right thing. The right thing for the United States, the right thing for Israel and the right thing for the peace of the world.” 

In a separate interview with “Fox & Friends,” Rice said she hopes Trump spoke to allies like French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel about how the international powers can improve the accord.

The 2015 deal includes the U.S., Iran, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, China and Russia.