Trump administration says Iran complying with nuclear deal

Rufina Vignone
Aprile 20, 2017

A staff member removes the Iranian flag from the stage after a group picture with foreign ministers and representatives of Unites States, Iran, China, Russia, Britain, Germany, France and the European Union during the Iran nuclear talks at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria July 14, 2015.

The US State Department must update Congress on Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal every 90 days.

"Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror through many platforms and methods".

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned against an "unchecked Iran" Wednesday, which he said could "follow the same path as North Korea" in pursuing nuclear weapons and putting global security at risk. Iran was required to give up nearly all of its enriched uranium, which can be used to make a nuclear weapon, and is subject to ongoing inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"So we are going to review completely the JCPOA itself".

"We understand there is some tough talk for internal consumption and the USA electorate", one Western diplomat explained. At least that's our understanding from the American side for now.

Votel said that, since the agreement was finalized, the US military has seen a heightened number of "malign activities" on the part of Iran and its proxies in the Central Region, including "Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, the Sinai, and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait [located between Yemen and Djibouti and Eritrea] and in other parts of our area of responsibility". "None of the other countries would be up for that".

The U.S. still maintains some sanctions against Iran for separate, non-nuclear issues, with Washington accusing Iran of sponsoring terrorism outside its borders and violating human rights at home.

"The U.S. Department of State certified to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan today that Iran is compliant through April 18 with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action", Tillerson said in a statement. The immediate concern is the ways in which the financial relief provided by the deal's rollback of sanctions is being used by Iran to destabilize the region.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed between Iran and world powers restricts its nuclear fuel enrichment for 10 years. We should double up and triple up the sanctions and have them come to us. On the one hand, Trump wants to show he's tougher than Obama was, but on the other hand, he's not ready to rip up the deal. He added, "let me tell you, this deal is catastrophic for America, for Israel and for the whole of the Middle East".

"We have to look at Iran in a comprehensive way in terms of the threat it poses and all areas of the region and the world".

Trump as a candidate vowed to discard or renegotiate the pact, and shortly after taking office his administration put Tehran "on notice" that its troublesome behavior would no longer be tolerated.

What's the Iran deal again?

Like the diplomats, Kirby said the administration may be looking for political cover.

"It is their habit to unsettle people and nations", Tillerson said.

He said the deal, brokered by former President Barack Obama's administration along with other world powers, represented the "same failed approach" the US has taken to North Korea.

Ahmad Majidyar, director of the Iran Observed Project at the Middle East Institute, said that "with a nuclear deterrent, Iran would most likely increase its support for groups in the region, which would definitely not improve regional or global security".

The official concluded, "I'm not sure that's a compelling case to stay in the JCPOA and continue to provide the sanctions relief that is fueling Iran's belligerent and unsafe behavior".

He had said in January of 2016 after the deal was implemented that "Iran will not get its hands on a nuclear bomb".

Iran has continued to test ballistic missiles - which was not part of the nuclear agreement - and Iran has kept up its staunch support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

But Majidyar argued that scrapping the deal wouldn't help Washington. The six powers that negotiated the 2015 nuclear deal - the US, China, Russia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, with the involvement from the European Union - set aside Iran's alleged support for terrorism in order to get a deal guaranteeing that the country would not be able to build a nuclear weapon for a decade and would remain under the eye of UN weapons inspectors. "We just don't see that that's a credible way to be dealing with Iran".

- Complying with regular monitoring from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the international watchdog for nuclear power. "If he didn't, if he thought everything was fine he would've allowed this to move forward". "They are making an incredible deal".

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