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13 October 2017, 12:54 | Marta Robbins
Iran reduced its enriched Uranium stockpiles and centrifuges as part of the deal
Even more than the actual deal, Mr Trump detests the certification requirement, which forces him to sign off every three months on an accord he has called the worst deal ever negotiated by the U.S., according to the officials. If the president doesn't certify compliance with the requirements, Congress has 60 days to decide whether to re-impose or "snap back" sanctions lifted under the agreement.
"Experts agree that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action remains the best way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons". Iran has always insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and denies it has aimed to build an atomic bomb.
European officials expressed relief that the White House speech did not appear to represent an U.S. abrogation of the 2015 deal, which they had intensively lobbied against since it became clear over recent months that Trump did not want to continue to certify the deal to Congress. "He's been quite clear for a long time that it's not his plan to certify it". "He's now taking a step that would lead to tearing up the deal", said Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., one of the key members who whipped support for the Iran deal in Congress when it was struck.
"He's not walking away from it".
"If we withdraw from the deal now, Iran would be free today from the constraints on their program and the intrusive inspections that the JCPOA puts into place", he said. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., would demand that the intelligence community produce judgments on a wide range of Iranian behavior that is not covered by the nuclear deal, including ballistic missile testing and development and threats to Israel and the Mideast more broadly. The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran is complying with the agreement. European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini believes that this will send a message to the global community that U.S. is not trustworthy when it comes to deal making.
European allies have complained that the White House has not presented a plan on how to push back Iranian influence, particularly in Syria, where the Trump administration has insisted it did not want to get involved in the civil war, preferring to focus exclusively on fighting the Islamic State.
"We need to work with allies and partners on a shared agenda that holds the regime in Iran accountable, not dividing America from our closest friends across the globe", Engel said.
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France, Germany and Britain, despite their opposition to Washington backing away from the deal, have told US lawmakers that they could join discussions on constraining Iran's long-term nuclear ambitions, according to one congressional Democratic aide.
In exchange, UN, US and European Union sanctions were to be gradually removed from Iran. Engel, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said unwinding the agreement would send a unsafe signal to allies and adversaries alike.
JCPOA is a "non-binding political agreement". That could include Iran pulling out of the deal as well and restarting uranium enrichment activities, or Iran could stay in the deal and try to drive a wedge between the USA and its allies.
However, the European signatories have said they were ready to discuss how it can be bolstered by stiffer measures aimed at Iran's missile programme, and what nuclear agreement might follow the JCPOA.
"At the end of the day, though, everyone recognizes that he's the decider". The route Mr. Trump wants to take to do so is by de-certifying the deal, which he may do next week. Trump has twice certified the deal since he took office in January. "I'm not anxious. His gut instinct is absolutely right".
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