Trump decision looms over Iran deal as Europe watches

Trump decision looms over Iran deal as Europe watches

'We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror, and the very real threat of Iran's nuclear breakout, ' Trump stated.

In July 2015, after a decade of strenuous negotiations, Iran and six major countries - China, Russia, Britain, France, the United States and Germany, struck a final agreement on Iran's controversial nuclear program, in which the West promised to relieve sanctions on Tehran in exchange for a halt in Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

The individuals - two administration officials, two congressional aides and two outside experts who consult with the government - weren't authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity. Defense Secretary James Mattis, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have all advised the president to abide by the agreement and extend relief from the sanctions. They said heated discussions were going on within the administration and with key Republican lawmakers. State Department officials initially suggested it could come as early as Thursday, but later said it would not happen before Friday.

The Associated Press quotes USA officials and others familiar with the Trump administration's current position on the nuclear accord as saying that Trump is likely, for now, to continue waiving sanctions in accordance with the deal.

It is unclear whether decertification would open a new window for Congress to impose sanctions on Iran, having forgone the opportunity the first time around.

US officials and others have said Trump is expected to take the recommendation of senior advisers that he keep the old nuclear-related sanctions in suspension, while announcing new ones that would target other aspects of Iran's behavior, including mass arrests during anti-government protests this month.


Trump in October chose not to certify that Tehran is complying with the deal and warned he might ultimately terminate it. The U.S. not only would defy other members of the United Nations Security Council, which backed the deal, it could hand Iran a pretext to start limiting U.N. inspections or restart its nuclear program. Their effort to have the U.S. Congress pass legislation to make minor fixes to the JCPOA also makes no sense because Congress can not renegotiate worldwide agreements.

The Trump administration is expected to announce new sanctions against Iran soon, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during a White House briefing on Thursday, Sputnik reported. Trump, Tillerson and Vice President Mike Pence were scheduled to have lunch Wednesday at the White House after a formal Cabinet meeting. Congress requires the president to renew the waiver every 90 days. So far, Trump hasn't followed through on his promise to end the Iran nuclear deal. That will be coupled with diplomacy with European governments addressing Iran's missile testing and support for the Hezbollah terror group, Shiite rebels in Yemen and Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"We would expect a decision on Friday", Goldstein said. Let's see how we can make it clear to the Iranians that they have some hard choices to make.

The old, central bank sanctions largely cut Iran out of the worldwide financial system, and are considered to be the most powerful of the penalties imposed by the USA during the Obama era, along with global penalties for buying Iranian oil. No doubt this view is reinforced by the IAEA's determinations that Iran has been maintaining the agreed-upon restrictions, although many critics of the deal have responded to such claims by highlighting nuclear inspectors' lack of access to Iranian military sites.

These senior officials and congressmen do not actually oppose the JCPOA; they oppose it in its current form and claim to want to "fix" it.

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