President Donald Trump, who has long been critical of the Iran nuclear deal, will pull out of it next month unless a "breakthrough" happens, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker warned Thursday.
"I don't think there is any question that he will leave the deal on May 12, unless there is a framework agreement with the three European countries that we're dealing with," the Tennessee Republican told CNBC's "Squawk Box."
He added that maybe there will be a breakthrough before the May 12 deadline for the United States to certify the deal, but if not, "I absolutely believe that he'll leave the agreement."
Trump has accused Iran of violating the agreement, negotiated under former President Obama, and opposes terms that allows the country to reinstate its nuclear activities. Iran, meanwhile, says the program is only for peaceful purposes.
Corker, who has played a major role in talks aimed at keeping the deal intact, said there is still a way to keep alive through a "framework agreement," but there has been "some resistance" from Britain, France, and Germany.
The senator also appeared on CNN's "New Day," where he discussed both Syria and whether he'd support Trump in a reelection bid.
He told New Day co-host Alisyn Camerota he does agree with Trump's decision to launch surgical airstrikes on Syrian chemical munitions targets, but worries that the nation has not had a strategy for Syria in a long time.
"One of the lowest moments in my foreign relations career here was when they crossed the red line in 2013 in August and we did nothing," said Corker. "The opposition had momentum. It was at a time when it would've made a huge difference and instead we invited Russia in and of course they've taken the country over."
As it stands now, he added, "it would take almost our entire military to really try to shake things on the ground. So where I'm concerned is that we leave too soon, before we've done the complete job with ISIS."
As a committee chairman, Corker has pulled together a new authorization of force act, along with other committee members, in hopes of crafting a measure that will gain bipartisan support.
"It doesn't constrain the president's ability to fight terror but does keep Congress involved when we go to new countries, when we add new groups," said Corker, who will leave office after this year. It's going to be tough. People act like they want to weigh in on these issues and it feels like to me they find every excuse possible to not be for it."
However, Congress is in a "hyperpartisan environment," he said, in which any vote agreeing with Republicans is seen as a proxy support for Trump, and "they don't want to be in that position."
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