US President Donald Trump is planning to “decertify” the international nuclear deal with Iran, according to the Washington Post.
The US President was seen at the White House with his wife Melania, as well as military leaders, after October 5 meetings but before dinner together. Gesturing at the people around him, Donald Trump said that it was “the calm before the storm”. He did not clarify what he meant to the press, though the New York Times says “people who have been briefed on the matter” believe he means the nuclear deal with Iran.
The President is expected to deliver a speech on the matter, tentatively scheduled for October 12. He is expected to declare rejecting the deal on the grounds it does not serve US security interests and to lay out a larger strategy for confronting the nation he blames for terrorism and instability throughout the Middle East.
The president’s administration must certify the deal every 90 days. Donald Trump’s office has already done so twice. If he rejected it this time, Congress would have 60 days to decide whether to re-impose sanctions on Iran. This could possibly mean re-imposing not only US-held sanctions, but international ones as well for an undisclosed amount of time. Despite that, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis expressed support for the deal during congressional testimony. He said he did not believe taking the step to decertify would scuttle the agreement, as many congressional leaders and senior diplomatic, military and national security advisers considered the deal worth preserving if possible.
The 2015 accord was designed to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon, with the president’s administration having to certify to Congress that Iran is upholding its part of the deal every 90 days. France, Germany, China, Russia and the UK are also partners in the deal.
The accord lifted some sanctions, allowing Iran to trade on international markets and sell oil. The lifting of sanctions is dependent on Iran restricting its nuclear program. It must restrict its uranium stockpile, build no more heavy-water reactors for 15 years, and allow inspectors into the country.