Trump Disavows Nuclear Deal, Iranian Leadership
President Donald Trump has made clear his intention to not certify Iran’s compliance with the controversial nuclear agreements reached in May of 2015 between President Obama’s administration and the hostile theocratic regime. In doing so, Trump will empower Congress to take additional actions.
The New York Times reports:
President Trump on Friday made good on a long-running threat to disavow the Iran nuclear deal that was negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama. But he stopped short of unraveling the accord or even rewriting it, as the deal’s defenders had once feared.In a speech that mixed searing criticism of Iran with more measured action, Mr. Trump declared his intention not to certify Iran’s compliance with the agreement. Doing so essentially kicks to Congress a decision about whether to reimpose sanctions on Iran, which would blow up the agreement.“We will not continue down a path whose inevitable result is more violence, more chaos and Iran’s nuclear breakout,” Mr. Trump declared at the White House, as he laid out a broader strategy for confronting Iran.The president derided the deal as “one of the worst and most one-sided transaction the United States has ever entered into.” But he added, “What’s done is done, and that’s why we are where we are.”
While President Trump campaigned on doing away with the deal altogether, once he took office he came to understand how risky such a move would be. Ultimately, without the deal in place, Iran would be less constrained when it came to nuclear weapons development.
According to the Times, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged the president to find a way to disavow the agreement without nullifying or violating it. The two men believe it is vital to keep the constraints on Iran, especially in lieu of the North Korean situation.
Trump’s actions seem ultimately geared toward bringing Iran back to the table with stricter terms enforced through threat of sanctions. It will be up to Congress to decide if it is to impose further sanctions or take additional action.