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Trump refuses to certify Iran nuclear deal

10/13/2017

President Trump declared Friday that the Iran nuclear deal is no longer in the national security interest of the United States, but stopped short of withdrawing from the Obama-era pact.

“I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification,” Trump said during a speech at the White House.  “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,” he continued.

Trump has certified Iranian compliance twice before, but was reportedly livid over the prospect of doing so again. He has repeatedly condemned the agreement and declared Iran has violated its “spirit” with its non-nuclear behavior, including its support for Syrian leader Bashar Assad and militant groups Middle East as well as its ballistic-missile program.  However, Trump has never been able to prove, or even suggest, that Iran has violated any specific part of the deal as it was written.

If Trump can prove any violation of the current deal, the UN sanctions will automatically “snap back” into place for 10 years, with the possibility of a five-year extension.  Currently, Trump can not prove any violations and can only claim Iran has violated “the spirit” of the agreement.

The deal is not only between the United States and Iran, but with other nations as well.  It was negotiated between Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany.  Any action Trump decides to take by himself does not necessarily nullify the agreement for the other parties, but it will separate the US from it’s allies even further.  The EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said there had been “no violations” by Iran and insisted that the deal could not be renegotiated, even by the US.

In addition, European allies that helped broker the agreement have expressed concern with Trump’s approach. French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a joint statement that they “stand committed” to the deal, and that preserving the Iran deal “is in our shared national security interest.”

They went on to say  “The nuclear deal was the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and was a major step towards ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program is not diverted for military purposes.” They note that the United Nations Security Council had unanimously endorsed the deal and that the International Atomic Energy Agency had confirmed Iran’s compliance with it.

“We encourage the U.S. administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the U.S. and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the [deal], such as re-imposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement,” they said.

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