Trump on Iran nuke accord: It's the 'worst deal. We got nothing'

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani delivers a speech during the opening session of the new Parliament in Tehran in 2016

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani delivers a speech during the opening session of the new Parliament in Tehran in 2016. Atta Kenare AFP Getty Images

Lawmaker Behrouz Nemati warned in comments to IRNA that any new sanctions Trump imposes on the Revolutionary Guard "would mean sanctions against the entire Iranian nation".

In 2015, world powers agreed to give Iran relief from some economic sanctions in return for inspections and limits on its nuclear program.

Mr. Trump's advisers also refused to present him with a thoughtful Iran deal exit strategy drafted by Ambassador John Bolton or to let Bolton meet with the president to brief this option. "That ship has sailed", according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. 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. In effect, it would be walking away unilaterally.

"Of all the places it could have been on the spectrum, this is very much at the better end", one European official said.

"Tomorrow, the president will deliver remarks announcing the (Iran) strategy to the country, ?"

The agreement contains specific restrictions on Iran's nuclear program that will expire after predetermined periods of time. French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed concern about Iran's ballistic missiles and the "sunset" provisions as well. The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran is complying with the agreement.

"As flawed as the deal is, I believe we must enforce the hell out of it", Representative Ed Royce, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Wednesday.

"The message that America would send to the rest of the world is that America can not be trusted upon, because a deal that America voted for just two years ago in the U.N. Security Council with a resolution unanimously adopted, a deal that America helped to shape enormously, enormously, would be rejected by the same country", Mogherini told PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff on Wednesday from European Union headquarters in Brussels.

"That's what we have to consider", said Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppelsburger, D-Md., the former top-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

If, as expected, Trump "decertifies" the nuclear agreement this week, Congress will then have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Iran.

One U.S. official involved in administration said that declining to certify Iran's compliance would probably leave all of the parties to the deal on one side and the United States on the other.

As British Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch said on September 25, "We would say, let's intensify the discussions [on how to deal with Iran's other activity], but let's keep the JCPOA".

Doing so has kept the U.S.in compliance with the accord, but because it's purely an issue of US law, decertification does not matter for the deal itself.

Political observers have warned that any unilateral action by the United States based on unsupported claims of Iranian non-compliance would isolate Washington, impede future efforts for other nonproliferation agreements in the broader worldwide community and increase the likelihood of a wider conflict in the Middle East. The next deadline for him to do so is October 15.

By moving unilaterally to scrap the agreement against the advice of many members of his own cabinet, the other nations that signed the deal, and most of the world, Trump is "undermin [ing] the credibility of the United States in all manner of negotiations, making it unlikely-to take just one risky example-the standoff with North Korea will be resolved by peaceful means".

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