Trump May Make Congress Decide Future of Iran Nuclear Deal

Trump May Make Congress Decide Future of Iran Nuclear Deal

In an address at the American Enterprise Institute today, Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, laid out an assertive and fundamentally misleading case against continuing US participation in the Iranian nuclear deal.

"What I am saying is should he [Trump] decide to decertify, he has grounds to stand on", Haley said.

"The deal drew an artificial line between the Iranian regime's nuclear development and the rest of its lawless behavior", she said of the 2015 pact, which trades sanctions relief for Iran for a rollback in its nuclear program.

The top American diplomat to the United Nations is outlining an argument for the Trump administration's possible decision not to recertify Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal. He was reportedly reluctant to do so but yielded to the need for the administration to complete its comprehensive interagency policy review.

She said Iran's history, its hostility toward the US have to figure into Donald Trump's calculus when he decides in October whether to certify if Iran is abiding by the deal. Haley lied when she said that the JCPOA "gave Iran what it wanted up-front, in exchange for temporary promises to deliver what we want".

"I'm not making the case for decertifying", she told an audience in Washington the decision.

"If the president finds that he can not in good faith certify Iranian compliance, he would initiate a process whereby we move beyond narrow technicalities and look at the big picture", she said.

Haley added if Trump chose to not certify Iran's compliance, then the president may leave the decision to Congress whether or not to reimpose sanctions.

More news: Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims flee to Bangladesh as Rakhine unrest rages

"If the president does not certify Iranian compliance, then the nuclear agreement will unravel, although not necessarily immediately". She has been particularly expressive in recent months as Washington, a party to the deal that seems to want to withdraw has stepped up rhetoric and action against the deal.

Illicit nuclear material is allegedly continuing to be stockpiled in North Korea on behalf of Iran (so that Iran does not default on the 2015 nuclear deal). The performance should cement the ambitious Haley's place on Trump's short list of candidates to become secretary of state once Rex Tillerson's unhappy and probably short tenure in the job ends.

Trump, who derided the nuclear deal as the "worst ever made" on the campaign trail in 2016, has been rumored for several weeks to be unhappy with certifying Iranian compliance.

Congress mandated a quarterly presidential certification that Iran is meeting its requirements, which Trump has twice signed off on with reluctance. He would have to decide whether to continue to waive the imposition of sanctions by mid-December.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned last month that Iran could abandon the nuclear agreement "within hours" if the United States imposes any more new unilateral sanctions. One approach, advocated by Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies and David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security, argues Congress should drastically increase non-nuclear sanctions on Iran but stop short of reimposing the sanctions that would blow up the deal.

Haley on Tuesday claimed that hundreds of military sites in Iran are suspicious, but the United Nations has no access to them.

"Withdrawal from the agreement is governed by the terms of the JCPOA", Haley will say.

However, she asked: "Are we going to take care of our allies and make sure they're comfortable, or are we going to look after our national security interests?"

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