Trump says Iran deal decision coming 'very shortly'

Trump says Iran deal decision coming 'very shortly'

Two senior USA officials told CNN that Trump plans to "decertify" the deal this week despite the global community's assessment that Iran is fulfiling its obligations under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the JCPOA.

Trump is expected to declare this week that Iran is not complying with the pact and to unveil a tough new strategy toward Iran.

The world needs to look at Iran's actions beyond the terms of just nuclear compliance, a source with knowledge of the plan told CNN on Wednesday.

Instead, these officials said Trump is more inclined to throw the matter to Congress and push legislators to amend the law that requires the president to certify Iran's compliance every 90 days.

"That means that while the French and others are also interested in curbing Iran's destabilising activities, they may be less likely to follow (the US) lead at the risk of the agreement blowing up", the official said.

Under that pact, Iran agreed to freeze its nuclear program for 15 years in exchange for sanctions relief.

Zarif also told lawmakers that Iran "will never renegotiate" the deal, according to a report on the semi-official Fars news agency.

Top officials from Trump's national security team, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, have also confirmed that Iran has been technically compliant. He will pass the buck to Congress, and they will decide what to do next with the deal. "The chances of him walking away from it go down if they work with him on making it better", the official said. Amending the U.S. law provided a way out, but the envoy said there is little appetite in Congress for the hot potato Trump had handed them.

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In mid-July, the Post says, a "furious" Trump argued with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and others who said while the 2015 deal, brokered by former President Barack Obama, was not ideal, it offered stability.

The U.S. will need to work with Britain, France and Germany - all parties to the Iran nuclear pact - to fix its flaws and those countries need to know that the U.S.is a reliable partner, according to Engel. Engel, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said unwinding the agreement would send a risky signal to allies and adversaries alike.

Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, was one of four Senate Democrats who opposed the Iran nuclear agreement in 2015.

Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council, echoed Sullivan's concerns.

He said Iran didn't want to see the deal unravel but that "much more is at stake for the entire worldwide community than the national interests of Iran". "Congress would be empowered to kill the accord through the front door by snapping back sanctions, or to kill it through the back door by moving the goalposts on sanctions relief".

"He's not going to re-certify", said Sebastian Gorka, a former Trump national security aide.

But despite concerns over decertifying the deal, some lawmakers said the move could allow Congress to address some of the current agreement's shortcomings.

"As flawed as the deal is, I believe we must now enforce the hell out of it", said the California lawmaker. In a recent review of Iran's compliance of the deal, the White House found the country to have met the requirements, yet Trump insisted on scrapping the deal, stating it was no longer in the US' security interests. "We're going to be announcing that very shortly".

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