Trump expected to declare Iran noncompliant with nuclear deal
The Washington Post has reported that White House sources believe US President Donald Trump will not provide certification that Iran is following the 2015 nuclear deal, opening the door for a US exit from the deal and more intense sanctions against the Islamic Republic, APA reports quoting Sputnik.
The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) meant to halt Iran's development of nuclear weapons (although Tehran has consistently denied that their nuclear program was ever meant to yield weapons) in exchange for sanctions relief requires the US president to "certify" that Iran is abiding by the agreement every 90 days.
Trump has reluctantly declared Iran compliant twice before, but frequently threatened to do otherwise. The next deadline is on October 15. The anonymous White House sources say that Trump is most likely going to declare Iran noncompliant, citing US national interest.
However, Trump's refusal to certify Iranian compliance does not necessarily mean the deal is scrapped. Should Trump de-certify Iran, the issue would then bounce to Congress and they have 60 days to decide how many, if any, sanctions that were paused by the JCPOA should resume. Only if they decide to resume sanctions would the US would have to exit the agreement.
Trump's speech is tentatively scheduled for October 12, and will take a hardline stance against the Islamic Republic. However, Trump has repeatedly pushed for the JCPOA, "the worst and most one-sided transaction Washington has ever entered into" as he described it during his United Nations General Assembly speech, to be renegotiated instead of discarded entirely. As such, Trump is expected not to recommend for Congress to reimpose sanctions and exit the agreement just yet, report White House sources.
But a renegotiation seems unlikely. It takes two to tango, and Iranian leaders dismissed the possibility of an exit, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani telling the press on September 21 that it would be a "waste of time" to do so.
"We held negotiations for many years on [the JCPOA]… but today the Americans talk of leaving the deal. So why should negotiations on other issues be held [with the US]?" Rouhani asked reporters after his speech at the UN General Assembly.
It isn't just Iran and the US — five other countries signed the JCPOA, too: China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. The leaders of all five have implored the Americans to remain within the agreement, with French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Theresa May both attempting to convince Trump in person to declare Iran compliant — reportedly, both in vain.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday that leaving the Iran deal may harm the prospect of nuclear disarmament in an entirely different part of the world. "If the US cancelled its nuclear deal with Iran, that would undermine the credibility of its offer to North Korea," Gabriel said, according to Press TV.
"I want to stress that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is an important outcome of multilateralism," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang during a September press conference. "It is a model of resolving international hot-spot issue through political and diplomatic means."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has also thrown his support behind the JCPOA, saying at a Wednesday speech at the Russian Energy Week-2017 international forum that "all reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) say that Iran fully meets all its commitments. We are guided by these considerations and will back the deal, which was brokered under the previous US administration, although we had many differences on other issues."
Even members of Trump's own cabinet have publicly defended the JCPOA. "At this point in time, absent indications to the contrary, it is something the president should consider staying in," said US Defense Secretary James Mattis before Congress on Tuesday, adding that the pact was beneficial to national security.
Related news releases
- 18.10.2017US: 3 dead, 2 injured in Maryland shooting
- 18.10.2017Tillerson expresses support for Iraq’s unity
- 18.10.2017Hillary Clinton says U.S. threats of war with North Korea 'dangerous, short-sighted'
- 18.10.2017More than 90 percent of Raqqa liberated: Pentagon
- 18.10.2017Venezuela's Maduro defends disputed vote, opposition divided
- 18.10.2017US senators reach tentative health care deal
- 18.10.2017George Saunders wins the Man Booker prize for his novel Lincoln in the Bardo
- 17.10.2017US to 'not take sides' in Iraqi-Kurdish dispute: Trump
- 17.10.2017US forces kill dozens of Daesh fighters in Yemen
- 15.10.2017Powerful Hurricane Ophelia heads toward Ireland
- 15.10.2017Approach to Iran exposes growing irritation between U.S. and allies
- 14.10.2017Magnitude 5.4 quake rumbles southern Mexico, no reports of damage
- 14.10.2017Mattis says U.S. working to ensure situation around Kirkuk does not escalate
- 13.10.2017Donald Trump makes a statement on new Iranian strategy
- 13.10.2017US adds Iranian Revolutionary Guard corps to sanctions list
- 13.10.2017Trump strikes blow against Iran nuclear deal in major U.S. policy shift
- 13.10.2017Tillerson: Trump to stay in Iran nuclear deal, but decertify Tehran's compliance
- 13.10.2017US hopes to dialogue with Turkey over visa spat
- 13.10.2017Trump to announce US strategy on Iran on Friday: White House
- 13.10.2017Niger ambush that killed eight the work of new ISIL offshoot: Pentagon
- 13.10.2017US ready to return flags to Russia - State Department official
- 13.10.2017Officers killed, schools on lockdown after North Carolina prison break
- 12.10.2017Russian MoD delegation traveling to UN Headquarters denied US entry visas
- 12.10.2017UN secretary general ‘deeply regrets’ US pulling out of UNESCO
- 12.10.2017Trump signs executive order changing affordable Care Act Healthcare Insurance rules
- 12.10.2017U.S. withdraws from UNESCO
- 12.10.2017At least 23 dead, hundreds missing as winds fan California wildfires
- 12.10.2017US officials ‘respectfully' took down Russian flags - State Department
- 12.10.2017Mattis says U.S. will work to stay aligned with Turkey despite diplomatic tensions
- 12.10.2017US energy agency revises up oil price forecast
- 12.10.2017US: Fed officials split on interest rate increase
- 12.10.2017Trump says could envision trade deal with Canada without Mexico
- 12.10.2017US ‘committed’ to restarting Mideast talks: Jordan king
- 12.10.2017Trump denies seeking nearly tenfold increase in U.S. nuclear arsenal
- 11.10.2017At least 13 killed in prison riot in northern Mexico
- 11.10.2017US: Turkey visa decision a 'coordinated effort'
- 11.10.2017Sears Canada to seek liquidation, then closure
- 11.10.2017Trump to announce broad Iran strategy this week: White House
- 10.10.2017Trump says he's likely to sign healthcare order this week
- 10.10.2017Texas Tech Police Officer Shot and Killed; Suspect in Custody
- 06.10.2017Two NASA astronauts finish 7-hour spacewalk
- 06.10.2017Iran has not lived up to 'spirit' of nuclear deal: Trump
- 06.10.2017UN approves resolution to verify Colombia cease-fire
- 05.10.2017Brazilian Olympics chief arrested in bribery probe
- 05.10.2017Las Vegas gunman's girlfriend says she had 'no idea he was planning violence'
- 05.10.2017Canada relaxes rules on citizenship requirements