Date
18 October 2017
US President Donald Trump (L) participates in a briefing with senior military leaders at the White House in Washington on Thursday. Photo: Reuters
US President Donald Trump (L) participates in a briefing with senior military leaders at the White House in Washington on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

Trump expected to decertify Iran nuclear deal

US President Donald Trump is expected to announce soon that he will decertify the Iran nuclear agreement, declaring that the 2015 accord doesn’t serve America’s national security interests.

Citing an unidentified official in Washington, Reuters reports that Trump is preparing to roll out a broader US strategy on Iran that would be more confrontational.

Trump had in the past called the Iran nuclear pact an “embarrassment” and “the worst deal ever negotiated”.

The president has been weighing whether the agreement serves US security interests as he faces an Oct. 15 deadline for certifying that Iran is complying with its terms.

“The Iranian regime supports terrorism and exports violence, bloodshed and chaos across the Middle East. That is why we must put an end to Iran’s continued aggression and nuclear ambitions. They have not lived up to the spirit of their agreement,” Trump said on Thursday.

Asked about his decision on whether to certify the landmark deal, Trump said: “You’ll be hearing about Iran very shortly,” he said during a meeting with military leaders at the White House.

Supporters of the nuclear pact say its collapse could trigger a regional arms race and worsen Middle East tensions, while opponents say it went too far in easing sanctions without requiring that Iran end its nuclear program permanently, Reuters noted.

Iranian authorities have repeatedly said Tehran would not be the first to violate the accord, under which Iran agreed to restrict its nuclear program in return for lifting most international sanctions that had crippled its economy.

If Trump declines to certify Iran’s compliance, US congressional leaders will have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Tehran suspended under the agreement.

The prospect that Washington could renege on the pact, which was signed by the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, the European Union and Iran, has worried some of the US allies that helped negotiate it.

French President Emmanuel Macron said last month there was no alternative to the nuclear accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

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CG/RC

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