President Donald Trump has until Sunday to act, if he wants to decertify the deal under which Iran curbed its nuclear program, in return for an end to economic sanctions. It is expected that Trump will make the decision concerning the USA withdrawal from the agreement by the end of this week. If any points of the agreement are violated by Iran, sanctions against the country will be renewed.
A congressional source and a non-governmental source familiar with the matter said the White House was looking at a Friday announcement after scrapping a tentative plan for Thursday.
Former Obama administration officials who played central roles in brokering the Iran nuclear agreement briefed congressional Democrats later Wednesday on the merits of the global accord.
If Trump does decertify the accord as expected, it would put him at odds with Defense Secretary James Mattis, who last week said Tehran was "fundamentally" in compliance with the agreement and that the USA should stick with the pact. If Trump refuses to certify, Congress will have 60 days to decide whether to re-impose U.S. sanctions on Iran. Instead, these officials said Trump is more inclined to push legislators to amend the law that requires the president to certify Iran's compliance every 90 days.
However, with the agreement in place and strongly supported by co-signers Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, many Republicans who still abhor the pact nevertheless do not want to blow it up for fear that doing so would erode USA credibility. Engel, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said unwinding the agreement would send a risky signal to allies and adversaries alike.
The EU foreign policy chief says Washington's possible withdrawal from the Iran deal will send a message to the global community that the U.S. is not trustworthy when it comes to deal making. Also, they said nixing certification of the Iran deal and trying to renegotiate it will discourage North Korea from ever considering a denuclearization accord.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who spoke with Tillerson the same day, said that "while Iran's destabilizing activities in the region are unacceptable, the regime has upheld its nuclear commitments", according to a statement released from his office.
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These plans had likely not been classified properly but defence ministry officials told Rhee the hacked documents were not of top importance, he said.
She said, "The deal not only will hold, but the deal does not belong to one country or another". Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said at the same hearing that the deal is still in the USA national security interest.
Leading House Republicans huddled with national security adviser H.R. McMaster Wednesday evening for a classified briefing on the administration's plan for the 2015 agreement. Representative Ed Royce, Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the Trump administration should preserve the deal to protect USA national security, even though he opposed the deal at the time.
He has criticized the agreement's "sunset clauses", under which some restrictions on Iran's nuclear program would expire over time.
Ahead, we break down the implications of that decision and what could come next.
Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., have been working for months hashing out a package to present to Congress, only recently bringing in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Sen. Those provisions relate to enriching uranium to levels near those needed to produce the fuel for a nuclear weapon, as well as other activities that limit Iran's atomic capabilities at various sites. He also wants to toughen language on ballistic missiles and inspections. "We may have to array our forces to prepare for. calibrated strikes".
Touching on speculations about the likelihood of renegotiation of the deal, Mogherini pointed to the "extremely complex nuclear aspects" of the JCPOA which have been ironed out over 12 years of intensive negotiations, saying, "It is not a deal you can easily open and renegotiate".