The United States should put sanctions on Iran back into effect, Sen. Ted Cruz told CNBC on Friday, accusing Tehran of cheating on the 2015 agreement that it made with the U.S. and five other nations to curtail its nuclear weapons program.
President Donald Trump on Friday is expected to refuse to certify to Congress that the Iran nuclear deal remains in the best interest of the U.S., but stop short of pulling the U.S. out or telling lawmakers to reimpose sanctions.
"It is the right thing to decertify," Cruz said on CNBC's "Squawk Box," just hours before Trump's afternoon speech. "I think we should reimpose sanctions. The administration can reimpose sanctions. That would be the right thing to do. Congress can reimpose sanctions."
The Texas Republican, who unsuccessfully ran against Trump for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, also accused Iran of cheating on the accord.
However, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations watchdog, has said Iran has been living up to the terms.
"When I was campaigning, I promised, that if I had been elected on Day 1 I would have ripped to shreds the Iran deal," Cruz said, claiming the agreement crafted under Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, is "designed to allow cheating."
Cruz said the agreement prevents the IAEA from monitoring military sites. "Well, guess where they're doing the nuclear work? On the military sites," he claimed, an assertion Iran has denied.
Despite the senator's claims that Iranian military sites are off-limits, the accord actually does make some allowances for those inspections. But it requires monitors to request access from Iran. Critics claim that effectively makes them inaccessible.
Trump faces a Sunday deadline to notify Congress on whether Iran is complying with the deal, a requirement of the president every 90 days.