USA to lose trust if Washington withdraws from Iran N

Casey Dawson
October 13, 2017

No, the deal will not be invalidated if the administration decertifies it.

President Donald Trump says he will "very shortly" announce his decision on United States participation in the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Members of Trump's team, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, cite Iran's "malign" activity in the region as a violation of the agreement.

Trump has threatened to scrap the agreement, calling it the "worst deal ever".

"As flawed as the deal is, I believe we must now enforce the hell out of it", said the California lawmaker.

He has repeatedly said Iran has broken the "spirit" of the deal, although the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Congress agree Iran is complying with the terms of the agreement. Even Iran hawks who are close to Trump, like Sen.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that Iran "is not in material breach of the agreement". Tom Cotton, R-Ark., would demand that the intelligence community produce judgments on a wide range of Iranian behavior that is not covered by the nuclear deal, including ballistic missile testing and development and threats to Israel and the Mideast more broadly.

The agreement contains specific restrictions on Iran's nuclear program that will expire after predetermined periods of time.

In a rare case of the United Kingdom publicly pressuring the USA, the British government said Wednesday that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had called Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to underscore British support for the deal. Unilateral U.S. sanctions would entail stringent provisions applying to European Union companies that deal with Iran.

The White House is seeking to extend or eliminate the expiration date for so-called "sunset" provisions, which limit the amount of uranium Iran is allowed to enrich. "Once it was entered into, once it was implemented, we want to see it enforced".

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But Iranian officials have already ruled out any renegotiation of the deal. Those against it, like the president, argue it should last longer and also ban things like Iranian missile tests and support for militants.

Watch Federica Mogherini's full interview with the NewsHour's Judy Woodruff on Wednesday.

Even so, some experts told CNBC that decertification will undermine the worldwide deal and encourage hardliners in Tehran to push for nuclear weapons. If those sanctions are put back into place, the JCPOA would be considered breached. But again, none of that is likely since the US would be essentially tearing up the agreement and taking the blame for whatever comes next.

Engel said the USA would lose any leverage it has with allies in the deal if it abandons the JCPOA.

Representative Ed Royce, Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the Trump administration should preserve the deal to protect U.S. national security, even though he opposed the deal at the time. He also is expected to target the country's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard with new sanctions.

The Europeans seem more inclined to try to "build" on the deal in this way.

However, the European signatories have said they were ready to discuss how it can be bolstered by stiffer measures aimed at Iran's missile programme, and what nuclear agreement might follow the JCPOA.

Third, the administration has been working with Republicans on Capitol Hill to amend parts of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, including the need for certification every 90 days, according to two sources. Many Democrats believe that is more likely to happen if Congress does not act to make changes to the existing agreement.

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