What will happen if President Trump decertifies the Iran nuclear deal?
00:33, Oct 13, 2017
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Iran abides by all its commitments on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and emphasized that all co-authors of the document must abide by it, the Russian Foreign Ministry said after a telephone conversation of the two diplomats.
In anticipation of Trump's announcement this week, advocacy groups are beginning to mobilize in support of the agreement, and in opposition to Trump's reckless moves to undermine and dismantle it.
Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., opposed the Iran nuclear agreement in part because the deal gave Tehran access to tens of billions of dollars in previously frozen assets.
The agreement required Iran to limit its nuclear arsenal in order to have multiple economic sanctions lifted.
President Trump's upcoming decision on how he will deal with the risky and flawed nuclear agreement is a moment for moral clarity and may be a defining moment of his presidency.
"If we pass the message that with every change of administration in Washington or elsewhere deals are thrown away and renegotiated, no one would negotiate with any administration ever and any deal would be exposed to be renegotiated every term".
Representative Ed Royce, Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the Trump administration should preserve the deal to protect USA national security, even though he opposed the deal at the time. With the threat of restoring those old sanctions and imposing new ones - as well as the threat of military force - the USA hopes to have new leverage and get Iran to accept changes to the deal.
Mogherini pointed to other global agreements that the USA has abandoned but the rest of the world has remained committed to, including the Paris Agreement on climate change. Trump has twice certified the deal since he took office in January.
Trump faces an October 15 deadline mandated by law to tell Congress if he believes Iran is complying with the nuclear accord and if it advances US interests.
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Mr. Trump's advisers also refused to present him with a thoughtful Iran deal exit strategy drafted by Ambassador John Bolton or to let Bolton meet with the president to brief this option.
Republicans have complained that the deal delays Iran's nuclear ambitions but could allow Iran to resume its nuclear program after certain restrictions expire.
The agreement would still be in effect, unless Congress puts sanctions back on Iran within 60-days. He also wants to toughen language on ballistic missiles and inspections.
But Iranian officials have already ruled out any renegotiation of the deal. "Once it was entered into, once it was implemented, we want to see it enforced".
"There is no technical nor political space to renegotiate this deal", Federica Mogherini, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, told PBS Wednesday.
As British Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch said on September 25, "We would say, let's intensify the discussions [on how to deal with Iran's other activity], but let's keep the JCPOA". But again, none of that is likely since the USA would be essentially tearing up the agreement and taking the blame for whatever comes next.
But it could be hard to get both Iran and its ally, Russia, back to the table for a new round of talks.
Mogherini noted that the global community, including the European Union and other U.S. allies, will continue to abide by the deal even if Trump chooses not to certify Iran's compliance, something which has been confirmed eight times by the worldwide Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
What exactly that will look like is still being determined, but it could include greater congressional oversight.
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