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etvfutures.com December 15, 2017


Trump again blasts Iran nuke deal as certification decision looms

12 October 2017, 09:34 | Opal Carroll

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani delivers a speech during the opening session of the new Parliament in Tehran in 2016. Atta Kenare AFP Getty Images

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani delivers a speech during the opening session of the new Parliament in Tehran in 2016

"We did it out of weakness when actually, we have great strength", said Trump. That declaration could lead to an unraveling of the seven-nation pact and leave the United States, not Iran, as the country that balked at honoring its commitments. With many nations seemingly committed to at least trying to keep the deal going with or without United States involvement, they see pulling out as simply losing their seat at the table for enforcement of the pact. Engel, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said unwinding the agreement would send a unsafe signal to allies and adversaries alike.

By opting not to certify Iran's compliance, Trump would risk creating a scenario similar to that in North Korea, in which the United States has no good options and is left exclusively responsible, Sullivan said on Wednesday while testifying before the House Foreign Relations Committee.

"We need to work with allies and partners on a shared agenda that holds the regime in Iran accountable, not dividing America from our closest friends across the globe", Engel said.

Some top figures in Congress are already deeply skeptical of the Trump effort to kill the deal, with Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) saying the U.S. should "enforce the hell out of it" instead.

"As flawed as the deal is, I believe we must now enforce the hell out of it", said the California lawmaker.

In a rare case of the United Kingdom publicly pressuring the USA, the British government said Wednesday that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had called Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to underscore British support for the deal.

It is also expected that the Trump administration could announce a fresh set of sanctions, possibly non-nuclear, against the Middle East nation like penalties against Iran's ballistic missile programme.

Trump has said he believes the nuclear deal is too generous toward Iran and would not stop it from trying to develop a nuclear weapon.

Congressional leaders were briefed on the plan Wednesday, and Trump is expected to announce it to the public on either Thursday or Friday.

Trump is expected to tell lawmakers the Iran deal is not in the USA national security interest but stop short of calling for a re-imposition of sanctions.

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This approach could allow the United States to stay in the deal but help Trump avoid the political headache of having to re-certify it every 90 days.

"This is the worst deal".

Speaking at the White House Wednesday, Trump did not discuss specific timing but told reporters: "You're going to see very soon".

Trump threatened during the presidential campaign to tear the pact up if he was elected.

If he chooses not to certify, Trump would be defying the opinion of some of his top advisers, European countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Top officials from Trump's national security team, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, have also confirmed that Iran has been technically compliant.

More than 180 House Democrats sent a letter to Trump last week calling on him to certify compliance unless he could produce "credible evidence of a material breach by Iran".

Congress was broadly opposed to the deal two years ago, but it's not clear that's the case anymore. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.

Rosenberg said decertification would effectively open a 60-day window for Congress to consider sanctions on Iran. "Once it was entered into, once it was implemented, we want to see it enforced".



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