Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Flash announcement on nuclear agreement with Iran from the UK

Flash announcement on nuclear agreement with Iran from the UK

There was always the chance he could still have a last-minute change of heart and certify Iran's compliance with the 2015 accord, which he has called an "embarrassment" and the "worst deal ever negotiated".

Officials familiar with the internal deliberations as well as informed sources outside the administration say they do not believe Trump will call for Congress to reinstate the sanctions.

Signed by the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, the European Union and Iran, the deal relieved sanctions on Tehran in exchange for giving up its nuclear weapons programme.

"We will see what happens pretty soon", said Trump, who must announce his decision on whether to certify Iran's compliance by the end of the week.

"He's not walking away from it". "Let's work with allies to make certain that global inspectors have better access to possible nuclear sites, and we should address the fundamental sunset shortcoming, as our allies have recognized".

Even so, some experts told CNBC that decertification will undermine the global deal and encourage hardliners in Tehran to push for nuclear weapons.

"As flawed as the deal is, I believe we must now enforce the hell out of it", Representative Ed Royce said at a hearing.

He has criticised the agreement's "sunset clauses", under which some restrictions on Iran's nuclear programme would expire over time.

The plan is also expected to highlight how the United States can work with allies to counter Iranian behavior and also address certain flaws in the nuclear deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran is complying with the agreement.

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The message these diplomats have gotten from administration officials is that they were "looking for a middle way" and didn't want to "kill the deal", one envoy said.

Notably, the committee's top Republican, Rep. Ed Royce, said the USA should adhere to the deal. If the president doesn't certify compliance with the requirements, Congress has 60 days to decide whether to re-impose or "snap back" sanctions lifted under the agreement.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and several of President Trump's other senior advisers have spent the last several months coming up with a plan that takes into account Trump's anger over the Iran nuclear deal without completely killing the agreement, seven people with knowledge of the situation told The Washington Post.

It might also help keep the Europeans on board with administration efforts to fight Iran's other destabilizing activities.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron both spoke to Trump this week to express their concerns about the potential decision not to recertify the Iran deal.

"We need to work with allies and partners on a shared agenda that holds the regime in Iran accountable, not dividing America from our closest friends across the globe", he said.

Top officials from Trump's national security team, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, have also confirmed that Iran has been technically compliant.

Trump allies who oppose the deal have watched the president closely to see if he might buckle under pressure. "I'm not anxious. His gut instinct is absolutely right".

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