Trump to announce he will 'decertify' Iran nuclear deal – reports

Other world leaders have called the agreement 'vital' and 'essential' 

Alexandra Wilts
Washington DC
Thursday 05 October 2017 20:07 BST
President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump (Getty Images)

Donald Trump will reportedly decertify the Iran nuclear deal – a move that could throw another wrench into the US's diplomatic ties with other world powers.

Under the 2015 agreement with six nations – including the US, UK and France – Iran agreed to restrict its nuclear programme for at least 10 years in exchange for the loosening of economic sanctions that had crippled its economy.

According to people briefed on the matter, the President believes the agreement is not in the national interest and will punt the issue over to Congress, the Washington Post reported.

Decertification itself would not break the US's agreement with Iran. It would start the clock on a 60-day congressional review period, during which legislators would have to decide whether to reimpose sanctions. If they decide to do so, they would effectively dismantle the deal.

Republican members of Congress were unanimously opposed to the agreement in 2015, but they have wavered since then on whether Mr Trump should enforce it.

Mr Trump has until October 15 to decertify the accord, but his plans could change. He is currently scheduled to give an address on October 12 in which he is expected to lay out his strategy for addressing Iran.

So far, the administration has reported that Iran is complying with its commitments in the nuclear agreement. However, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has continuously noted that the country continues to be a “leading state sponsor of terrorism.”

On the campaign trail and since becoming president, Mr Trump has repeatedly criticised the agreement and labelled it “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into”.

In his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly last month, Mr Trump promised to revisit the deal, saying the US “cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear programme.”

Mr Trump’s criticism of the deal has put him at odds with other world leaders, including the UK's Prime Minister Theresa May, who has called the agreement “vital”, and France’s President Emmanuel Macron.

During his own address to the UN General Assembly, Mr Macon said the nuclear deal was “essential for peace”.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has attacked Mr Trump for suggesting the agreement could be ripped up.

“It will be a great pity if this agreement were to be destroyed by rogue newcomers to the world of politics,” Mr Rouhani said at the UN. “By violating its international commitments, the new US administration only destroys its own credibility and undermines international confidence in negotiating with it or accepting its word or promise.”

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