Dems who opposed Iran nuke deal urge Trump to keep pact

Oct 13, 2017, 00:30
Dems who opposed Iran nuke deal urge Trump to keep pact

The president has called the Obama administration agreement the worst deal ever.

After failing to make Trump change his mind, European diplomats and businessmen have shifted the focus of their lobbying efforts on US Congress to help prevent Washington from killing the JCPOA.

Signed by the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, the European Union and Iran, the deal relieved sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbing its disputed nuclear program.

Since the historic deal was signed in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly confirmed the Islamic Republic's compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, but some other parties, especially the U.S., have failed to live up to their undertakings. Iran has always insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and denies it has aimed to build an atomic bomb.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a key player in the Iran debate, has suggested changing the Iran Review Act he co-authored to eliminate the requirement that Trump recertify Iran's compliance with the deal every 90 days, several congressional sources said.

The officials discussing the details and timing of the announcement spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss internal deliberations.

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US President Donald Trump's team now faces an October 15 deadline to tell Congress whether it will continue to certify that Iran is complying with the deal.

"He's not walking away from it".

"Of all the places it could have been on the spectrum, this is very much at the better end", one European official said.

The US president will say the nuclear deal does not serve US national security interests, contradicting his defence secretary and top generals. French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed concern about Iran's ballistic missiles and the "sunset" provisions as well.

She said that USA would lose global trust "because a deal that America voted for just two years ago in the UN Security Council with a resolution unanimously adopted, a deal that America helped to shape enormously, enormously, would be rejected by the same country".

Iran deal supporters mostly want the U.S.to remain in the agreement because they claim Iran is in compliance and a USA withdrawal would alienate America's European allies.

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Daniel Kurtzer, a former USA ambassador to Israel who is now a professor at Princeton University, said the political pressure could be intense.

A decision by Trump to decertify the deal would leave it at grave risk, with the US Congress having 60 days to decide whether to re-impose specific sanctions on Tehran that were lifted because of the diplomatic pact.

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".

As British Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch said on September 25, "We would say, let's intensify the discussions [on how to deal with Iran's other activity], but let's keep the JCPOA". Decertifying the nuclear deal threatens to further escalate tensions between the two nations.

The agency quotes Zarif as saying that if the United States acts against the deal, Iran will offer a "tougher response".

Instead, the Trump administration hopes to use decertification as a way to put pressure on Iran, U.S. officials have told ABC News. He called Trump's move to kick the deal to Congress a "trap" and "a tactic meant to reach the president's goal of tearing the deal apart".

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"He's not going to re-certify", said Sebastian Gorka, a former Trump national security aide.

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