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PRESIDENT TRUMP AND IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL

  • Murad Ali
  • Nov, 2017
  • 368
  • International

Speaking from the White House, President Trump accused Iran of "not living up to the spirit" of the nuclear agreement and said that his goal was to ensure that Iran never obtained a nuclear weapon. "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 said

After deciding to withdraw from UNESCO (effective December 31, 2018) citing “anti-Israel bias” and collapsing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),encompassing 12 Pacific Rim countries, including America, Japan and Canada, covering nearly two-fifths of the global economy, the US President Donald Trump has struck on 13 October at the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as Iran nuclear agreement. He chose not to certify that Tehran is complying with the deal and warned that his country might ultimately terminate it.

The nuclear deal was signed on 14 July 2015 after painstaking negotiations of over 21 months by Iran, Germany, and UN Security Council permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, also known as P5+1 or E3+3. Under JCPOA, Iran agreed to strict limits on its nuclear program and, in return, the other five countries agreed to relax sanctions imposed on Iran by the UN, US and the EU. The Plan of Action is a detailed, 159-page technically complicated document with five annexes.

The nuclear deal was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adopted on July 20, 2015. Iran’s compliance with the nuclear-related provisions of the JCPOA is to be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) according to certain requirements set forth in the agreement. Ten years after adoption day (October 2025), Termination Day, terminates Resolution 2231 and the Security Council closes Iran’s nuclear file.

Under dispute resolution mechanism, the Joint Commission will hold quarterly meetings, or by request, to oversee the deal and any party can go to the Security Council to put sanctions back in place if there is non-compliance by vetoing a resolution calling for continuance of sanctions. US sanctions on Iran targeting human rights, terrorism and missile activities remain. Furthermore US can impose additional sanctions for non nuclear issues (terrorism, human rights, etc.).

When the deal was reached, the US Congress passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (Inara) that gave Congress a say in managing the accord - including a requirement for the US president to certify Iran’s compliance with the accord every 90 days, and an option to slap sanctions back on Iran with a simple majority vote. Under Inara, the US president must certify that Iran is in compliance with the deal’s terms. The past two times this came up in April and July this year and the president reluctantly certified Iran’s compliance. This time President Trump had until October 15 to decide about the nuclear deal with Iran and two days prior to that day, he has opted to involve the Congress in the matter.

Speaking from the White House, President Trump accused Iran of “not living up to the spirit” of the nuclear agreement and said that his goal was to ensure that Iran never obtained a nuclear weapon. “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 said. He gave the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to re-impose economic sanctions on Tehran lifted under the pact. If Congress does so, the United States would indeed violate the terms of the nuclear deal. Inaction of Congress will mean the deal will remain in place. Congress also has other options i.e. set new restrictions on Iran, including reimposing US nuclear sanctions if Tehran were deemed to be closer to developing a nuclear weapon. Trump however warned that, “If we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then, the agreement will be terminated.” He further said, “It is under continuous review and our participation can be cancelled by me as President at any time.’’

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has regularly confirmed Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA’s restrictions, such as the requirement that Iran dismantle thousands of centrifuges (devices that create weapons-grade uranium). That means Iran’s ability has been further curtailed from building a bomb, thus keeping Iran away from becoming a nuclear bomb wielding power or US getting into war with Iran which could have serious regional and global ramifications. There is therefore no justification from IAEA perspective for any action of Iran that is de...

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