Pompeo supports Trump plan to 'fix' Iran deal

Pompeo supports Trump plan to 'fix' Iran deal
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Secretary of State nominee Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUN condemns Iran military parade attack President strikes softer tone on North Korea at United Nations Overnight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Trump returns to UN praising Kim | Iran in crosshairs later this week | US warns Russia on missile defense in Syria MORE said Thursday he shares President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE’s views on “fixing” the Iran nuclear deal or withdrawing by May 12.

The Trump administration is negotiating with European allies for a follow-on deal that addresses three issues Trump sees with the Iran deal: several provisions sunset, inspectors can’t demand to see some military sites and it does not address other activities of interest by Iran, such as its ballistic missile program and support of terrorists. 

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If European officials do not agree to the new deal, Trump has said he will not renew sanctions waivers on May 12, essentially withdrawing the United States from the international accord.

During his confirmation hearing, Pompeo was first pressed by Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinOvernight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan group wants to lift Medicaid restriction on substance abuse treatment More Dems come out in public opposition to Kavanaugh MORE (D-Md.) about his views on whether the United States should withdraw if Europeans do not agree to a follow-on deal. Pompeo responded by repeating the administration's plans 

“The president has made very clear what the secretary of State’s mission is, and I expect no change to that,” Pompeo said.

Pressed again by Cardin, Pompeo said he can’t answer a hypothetical question.

“It’s not a yes-or-no question. It’s a hypothetical because we’re not at that point,” he said. “That’s almost a month away. It depends clearly if we’re close. … In the event that we conclude that we can’t fix this deal, that these serious shortcomings that you, Sen. Cardin, yourself have identified, then the president is going to be given best advice including by me, and if there’s no chance that we can fix it, I will recommend to the president that we do our level best to work with our allies to achieve a better outcome and a better deal. Even after May 12.”

Asked for clarification later by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerPoll: More voters oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination than support it Ford opens door to testifying next week Police arrest nearly two dozen Kavanaugh protesters MORE (R-Tenn.) on if he was articulating the administration’s position because he shares that view, Pompeo said that’s correct.

“I think what Director Pompeo is saying is that’s also his opinion,” Corker said.

“Senator, that is correct,” Pompeo replied.

Corker also asked for clarification on what happens after Trump withdraws on May 12.

“Your sense is should that happen, then you would continue after that time to try to create a better agreement?” Corker asked. 

“Yeah, senator, the president has stated his objective, I’ve heard him say it to my predecessor, to Secretary [Rex] Tillerson, I’ve heard him say it, his goal is to take the three shortcomings and fix them,” Pompeo replied.