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Trump Iran deal plan risks opening nuclear 'Pandora's box'

12 October 2017, 09:58 | Devin Moran

Nuclear experts said during the campaign that Trump was not trustworthy to command the nation's nuclear arsenal

Nuclear experts said during the campaign that Trump was not trustworthy to command the nation's nuclear arsenal

"This is the worst deal".

The official said Trump has been telling foreign leaders and United States lawmakers that his refusal to certify the Iran deal would not blow it up.

President Donald Trump's decision on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal could come on Friday, and experts say the "writing is on the wall" that the administration won't recertify the landmark agreement and he likely will turn his attention to getting European support on fixing it.

Some top figures in Congress are already deeply skeptical of the Trump effort to kill the deal, with Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) saying the U.S. should "enforce the hell out of it" instead.

The plan is also expected to highlight how the United States can work with allies to counter Iranian behavior and also address certain flaws in the nuclear deal. Amending the United States law provided a way out, but the envoy said there is little appetite in Congress for the hot potato Trump had handed them.

European nations are looking down the road for ways to save the deal, saying that it would be hard to keep the deal in place if the U.S. withdraws. With many nations seemingly committed to at least trying to keep the deal going with or without USA involvement, they see pulling out as simply losing their seat at the table for enforcement of the pact.

Instead, these officials said Trump is more inclined to throw the matter to Congress and push legislators to amend the law that requires the president to certify Iran's compliance every 90 days. Tom Cotton, would expand the US certification criteria to include items that are also the province of the United Nations nuclear watchdog and require the USA intelligence community to determine if Iran is carrying out illicit activity in facilities to which the International Atomic Energy Agency does not have access.




Two other USA officials, who also requested anonymity, said Trump's bellicose rhetoric on a number of fronts is troubling both many of his own aides and some of America's closest allies, a few of whom have asked U.S. officials privately if Trump's real objective is attacking Iran's nuclear facilities.

So far Trump has certified the accord but said the next deadline on Sunday is the crucial one.

Iranian officials have said they will not renegotiate. 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.

Engel said at the hearing that killing the deal would be a "grave mistake", since it is in place and backed by USA allies and other powers. Among the lawmakers who signed the letter were Engel and 12 other House Democrats who had criticized the deal when it was reached two years ago.

He has criticised the agreement's "sunset clauses", under which some restrictions on Iran's nuclear programme would expire over time. Those provisions relate to enriching uranium to levels near those needed to produce the fuel for a nuclear weapon, as well as other activities that limit Iran's atomic capabilities at various sites.

Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, was one of four Senate Democrats who opposed the Iran nuclear agreement in 2015.

"I think I speak for a lot of us who opposed the agreement". We encourage United States to assess se results in security context.



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