Trump Expected To “Decertify” Iran Nuclear Deal Next Thursday

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Update:  Confirming our note from earlier this morning, the Washington Post has just confirmed that President Trump will deliver a speech next Thursday to officially announce plans to “decertify” the international nuclear deal with Iran.  According to WaPo, Trump is expected to lay out a broader strategy with respect to Iran but will stop short of reimposing sanctions that would nullify the agreement.

President Trump plans to announce next week that he will “decertify” the international nuclear deal with Iran, saying it is not in the national interest of the United States and kicking the issue to a reluctant Congress, people briefed on an emerging White House strategy for Iran said Thursday.

The move would mark the first step in a process that could eventually result in the resumption of U.S. sanctions against Iran, which would blow up a deal limiting Iran’s nuclear activities that the country reached in 2015 with the U.S. and five other nations.

Trump is expected to deliver a speech, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 12, laying out a larger strategy for confronting the nation it blames for terrorism and instability throughout the Middle East.

Under what is described as a tougher and more comprehensive approach, Trump would open the door to modifying the landmark 2015 agreement he has repeatedly bashed as a raw deal for the United States. But for now he would hold off on recommending that Congress reimpose sanctions on Iran that would abrogate the agreement, said four people familiar with aspects of the president’s thinking.

All cautioned that plans are not fully set and could change. The White House would not confirm plans for a speech or its contents. Trump faces an Oct. 15 deadline to report to Congress on whether Iran is complying with the agreement and whether he judges the deal to be in the U.S. national interest.

* * *

In the months leading up to the November 2016 election, Trump repeatedly referred to Obama’s secretive Iran Nuclear deal as “the worst deal I’ve ever seen negotiated” (here’s just one example).  Of course, for a man who only speaks in absolutes, it’s difficult to know what that meant for the fate of the deal but it didn’t sound positive, nonetheless.

Now, according to the Washington Free Beacon, Trump, over the objections of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, could declare Iran in breach of Obama’s deal as early as next week and set the stage for Congress to once again impose stiff sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The Trump administration is expected to announce next week that it will not formally certify Iran as in compliance with the landmark nuclear agreement, a move that could kill the agreement and set the stage for Congress to reimpose harsh economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic, according to multiple U.S. officials and sources familiar with the situation.

While some senior Trump administration officials—including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis—are pushing for President Donald Trump to preserve the deal, it has become increasingly clear the president is frustrated with Iran’s continued tests of ballistic missile technology and rogue operations targeting U.S. forces in the region, according to these sources.

Designating Iran as in non-compliance with the deal would loosen restrictions on how the United States can target Tehran and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, which has been the main entity behind Iran’s military operations in Syria and elsewhere in the region. It also would allow the administration to save face in the short-term by not technically walking away from the agreement.

The final nail in the coffin, these sources said, was the recent admission by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, that it cannot fully assess whether Iran is working on sensitive nuclear explosive technology due to restrictions on inspections and specific sites in the Islamic Republic.

Still, according to the Financial Times, the increasing rhetoric from the White House could be nothing more than an effort to “minimize political embarrassment” while ultimately “maintaining the deal.”

Western officials say Mr Trump is frustrated by rules that require him to certify an agreement he framed as the “worst deal ever” every 90 days, in keeping with a 2015 law giving Congress oversight of the agreement.

“He is looking for options that minimise the domestic political embarrassment of ultimately maintaining the deal,” said a western official.

Trump Expected To "Decertify" Iran Nuclear Deal Next Thursday

Of course, Tillerson and Mattis are not alone in their opposition to withdrawing from the controversial deal as several other military and intelligence experts argue that some oversight is preferable to none at all.

Retired four-star Gen. Michael Hayden, former head of the National Security Agency, told the Free Beacon that there are always challenges to ensuring Iranian compliance. However, some level of inspections is better than none at all.

“Confirming compliance is always challenging,” Hayden said, echoing the thinking of many current and former U.S. officials. “That’s why the intelligence folks always insist on an invasive monitoring regime. That combined with national capabilities should give you reasonable confidence.”

“The chairman of the Joint Chiefs said yesterday that Iran was not in material breach of the deal,” Hayden noted. “That looks to be true and I would expect the intelligence community to be able to detect significant breaches.”

The chief challenge is ensuring Iran is not cheating on the deal by engaging in illicit research activities or other types of nuclear work that are less easy to detect, according to Hayden.

“Cheating around the edges would be a different matter,” he said. “Of course, all this would be harder to do if the deal collapsed and the international inspectors were no longer able to perform even their current tasks.”

Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz, a long-time, vocal opponent of the deal, maintains that Trump has no option but to decertify Iran and allow Congress to enact harsh penalties because of the IAEA’s admission that Iran continues to refuse them access to various military facilities – a clear requirement of the terms of the deal.”

“The IAEA’s admission that they are unable to verify a fundamental provision under the nuclear deal—that the Iranians are not engaging in activities or using equipment to develop a nuclear explosive device—is highly alarming. In these circumstances, issuing a compliance certification would be serious mistake,” Cruz said.

“If the Iranians are serious about a peaceful program, they need to prove it. Iran’s continued refusal to allow IAEA access to military sites—a clear requirement of the terms of the deal—renders the JCPOA utterly ineffective, and, even worse, a sham that only facilitates Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons,” Cruz said. “This absence of any meaningful verification is yet another reason to vitiate this foolhardy agreement.”

Other administration insiders who spoke to the Free Beacon said the president no longer wants to pretend the deal is working.

“The president already knew that continued sanctions relief to Iran was inappropriate and not in our interest given their behavior, which was more than enough to decertify. He said so repeatedly,” said one veteran Iran analyst close to the White House and privy to discussions about the matter. “Now there’s this new issue where the IAEA just admitted publicly they’ve been unable to verify entire sections of the deal, which makes the whole thing a no-brainer.”

“Decertifying clears a lot of clutter off the table because our guys no longer have to pretend the deal is a good deal,” the source said. “They can let it stay in place for a while or try to fix it, all while focusing on the rest of Iran’s aggression.”

So what say you…is some oversight better than none at all or is Trump right that the United States is just getting outwitted by a cunning adversary.

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  • Floyd Hazzard

    Well, what did anyone think the Kurdish referendum was about except saying Kurdistan is independent and we are putting bases there? Not much can be done either considering Crimea and Kosovo. It does make trouble for the EU and Ukraine though.

    • Clive Hurston

      A LOT can be done. Kurdistan is a completely landlocked nation.

    • Tommy Jensen

      EU will just be whining, wagging and licking wounds again.

  • Solomon Krupacek

    although such word that decertify does not exist in english, i say: trump will not! :)

    • BMWA1

      Don’t misunderestimate Trump’s vocabulary skills.

      • Solomon Krupacek

        theoretically he could stop it, but the senate (or congress) must agree with this within 2 months. in usa are also brakes.

        • goingbrokes

          Guys you need to destart this conversation, it’s getting mishinged!

          • Solomon Krupacek

            A
            1) american president van use veto and does not sign the prolongation of treaty
            2) his decision must be approved by senate within 2 months. if not, the treaty continuous.
            3) that means, the president can be stopped.

            B
            i dont believ, this time will not sign trump. there are not fonished plans against iran. but next time, in 6 months is over 90%, that he will not sign. probably also in context with north korea. two conflicts in the same time is not simply situation also for usa. threfore i think, when the white house and generals will have crystal clears concepts, trump will pace. but not now.

  • AMHants

    It does not make sense as it is an UN Security Council Agreement, and not just America and Iran. The UN has stated Iran has done nothing wrong and the other signatories, have no problems with Iran. Russia, China, France, UK, Germany (on behalf of the EU), Iran and the US signed the agreement. So what can Trump do?

    • FlorianGeyer

      Kim Jon Un can have no confidence in any treaty with the US now.
      I am sure he had none anyway but for the US to do this is yet another demonstration to the world that America is untrustworthy. Perhaps that is why the Saudi Royals are reaching out to Russia.

    • Michelle Ricoy

      The uS can, lIke most of the tIme, unIlaterally sanctIon anyone they want.

      But thIs Is not what they want, just read “Path to PersIa” by BrookIngs

      The plan Is to make Iran non complIant of an awesome deal for them bad for the uS In order to justIfy an InvasIon.

      • Nexusfast123

        The US could never successfully invade Iran. That’s wishful thinking and besides the Iranians would fight an asymmetrical ‘guerilla’ war with objective causing the highest loss to the attacker as possible. Once you put boots on the ground technology advantages are nullified. Also Russia and China would probably be players.

      • AMHants

        Even if the US tried to invade, they really have no idea what they are up against. It is not as though the US has any success in battle, they just invade peaceful nations and leave them in a state of civil war.

        They are trying the same in Europe, starting with Spain, running the same old script. What is their problem, besides the fact they are going down and don’t like the feeling?

        Maidan in Spain, and some new “dog whistles”… http://thesaker.is/maidan-in-spain-and-some-new-dog-whistles/

        George Soros is funding the independence of Catalonia
        VOLTAIRE NETWORK | 28 SEPTEMBER 2017 … http://www.voltairenet.org/article198106.html

        ……………………………………………………………………..

        Bonus link:

        THE PENTAGON IS PREPARING A NEW WAR IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA
        Political Islam against China
        by Thierry Meyssan
        You are probably aware that you are incompletely informed about what is brewing in Myanmar, and you probably haven’t heard about the military coalition that is preparing to attack that country. And yet, as Thierry Meyssan reveals here, these current events have been in preparation by Riyadh and Washington since 2013. Don’t take sides before you read this article and digest the information… http://www.voltairenet.org/article198141.html

  • Kira Binkley

    A confused POTUS. Very confused.

  • TheSecular
    • Holy shit!
      When DID THIS HAPPEN?
      I loved his videos?
      WHY?

  • Clive Hurston

    The greatest terrorist state in the ME is not Iran, it’s Israel. They have invaded every single one of their neighboring states, still holding onto most of the territories acquired through war, attacked and bombed every one of the surrounding nations, brutally killed seamen of an allied power (USS Liberty) and fomented armed uprisings and civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands. If you want to talk about terrorism, Israel must be considered the reigning state terrorist of the region . .

    • Daniel Castro

      Israel was founded upon terrorism.

      Israel: from terrorists, by terrorists, for terrorists.

    • john

      Terrorist state of the world, my friend.

  • GRAHL

    “Iran’s continued refusal to allow IAEA access to military sites—a clear requirement of the terms of the deal.” What more is there to say? Iran isn’t complying with the most important term of the deal and that makes the U.S. the bad guys?

    • RTA (Bob or Al)

      Are you for real ?. You must be an American or retarded.

      PS Same thing really.

      • GRAHL

        Are you a child? Or just behave like one?

        • RTA (Bob or Al)

          I just behave like one, but thanks for making me feel young again.

          • ruca

            You are correct. I wish he would have said that to me. Stay young!

        • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

          Please take your posts to the gullible no one here falls for it since we do go to lengths to educate ourselves in these matters.Why do you sound like an idiot trawler trying to get a blind affirmation among people who educate themselves to the situation?!

          • GRAHL

            Lmao who is seeking affirmation? Me? Never a concern of mine. You’re the one speaking for the group and trying to tout your superior education. Obvious that you need the affirmation. In fact, it’s obvious the little circle jerk that goes on here on SF between a couple dozen of you. Like broken records. Waa waa the Jews and Americans are ruining my life. You need each other, because without each other the truth will hit you in the face… that you’re only a bunch of sad, paranoid, Powerless conspiracy theorists. Thankfully that’s not all of you and there are some very valid and compelling arguments made on this site that I thoroughly agree with. Usually by people who don’t resort to angry name-calling like juveniles.

    • ruca

      Yeah right. Let a foreign power from thousands of kilometers away, come into your sovereign country to inspect military sites. Remember what happened to Iraq after they allowed inspections? All sites GPS marked and destroyed by cruise missiles on the first few days of the war. I’m sure no country will be that gullible again.

    • goingbrokes

      Mate, they did this in Iraq already. IAEA inspectors have no treaty authority to inspect military sites. None. It was same in Iraq. But US and Israel through media manipulation dupe people into thinking that that is what the inspectors are there to do – to inspect military sites. When Saddam said “no” eventually, they did a little victory dance, said he has something to hide and went to war. Iran is complying with the most intrusive inspection regime in the history of the world and has all the time come out 100% clean. No secret programs, no hidden facilities, no nuclear material unaccounted for – nothing. They have even allowed access to numerous military facilities, even though they are not required to do so by the treaty! US is lying about the treaty requirements. They are trying to get the Iranians to say “no” – so they can have their little dance, and go to war. The neocon media outlets will spout out lies 24/7 if ordered to do so. But it is all based on lies about the treaty. They know that the man in the street is incredibly ignorant.

      • ruca

        It’s unbelievable the comment that spawned this thread. Plain ignorance.

      • Clive Hurston

        Right on

      • GRAHL

        Though I disagree with some of your comments they are duly noted. I’d love to see a deal that works. But I firmly believe that Tehran is as manipulative as Washington.

    • Solomon Krupacek

      sure, if all sites but usa told, iran fullfilled all points of treaty, then trump is right. you are brainwayshed or warmonger or both.

      • GRAHL

        Definitely not a warmonger nor brainwashed. Nor do I blindly believe anything Washington says or Tehran says.

        • Solomon Krupacek

          good. i also dont believe fully wash., teh. mosc., etc.

    • Clive Hurston

      GRAHL .. you’re on the wrong forum lady. You should be on the Jerusalem Post or Haaretz ..

    • Tudor Miron

      You’re either dumb, or deliberately ignorant or think that others are even dumber (if that was at all possible).

  • John Brown

    This is great news as it rapidly weakens the racist supremacist Jewish empire proving Israel rules the USA and that they will never honor any treaty they sign. Iran should still full fill the deal with the other countries who signed it and sue the crap out of the USA in every international court they can for tens of billions. Let us hope Iran is not so stupid as to fall for this Zio provocation and pull out of the treat themselves

    • Clive Hurston

      Well said buddy

  • samo war
  • john

    It is all pressure from the baby killer Netanyahu. Trump, his bedtime friend, will follow Netanyahu’s orders. When the US reneges on the deal, Netanyahu, the Palestinian, Gaza baby killer, will say that Iran now, for sure, is developing a nuclear warhead so we must attack them. This is this coward’s agenda all along. But the baby killer does not have the courage to attack iran with his Israeli armed forces because he knows Iran will wipe Israel from the face of the earth. No sir! That baby killer wants his bedtime buddy Trump to back him up. That is where this idiot Trump is being led and said. Still better than the bitch-witch Clinton. If she had been voted in, we would be in the third world war. Nuff said!