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GOP senator: Withdrawing from Iran deal not in 'national interest'

GOP senator: Withdrawing from Iran deal not in 'national interest'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeProfiles in cowardice: Trump's Senate enablers McSally concedes Arizona Senate race The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare front and center; transition standoff continues MORE (R-Ariz.) knocked the Trump administration on Tuesday, saying withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal isn't in the country's "national interest."

"The JCPOA had many flaws but withdrawing now does not serve our national interest. Iran has already realized the benefits of sanctions relief and the release of frozen assets," he said in a tweet, referring to the deal by its formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

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Flake added, "Now they are let off the hook when it comes to honoring their nuclear obligations under the agreement."

Trump announced earlier Tuesday that he has decided against continuing to waive sanctions as laid out in a 2015 pact between the United States, Iran, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, China and the European Union.

“I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal,” Trump said from the Diplomatic Room in the White House.

Trump said he would sign an order to “begin reinstating U.S. nuclear sanctions" on Iran.

Republicans, who opposed the Iran nuclear deal, are largely backing Trump's decision and urging European countries to either join with the United States or help pressure Iran to try to negotiate a broader agreement.

But Flake separately told CNN that Trump's decision could backfire with the international community and impact its willingness to work with the United States on other issues.

"If we're not seen as a reliable partner then we're going to have a hard time moving ahead," he said.