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Donald Trump refuses to certify Iran complying with nuclear deal

Donald Trump refuses to certify Iran complying with nuclear deal, Congress to reconsider sanctions http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-14/president-trump-has-decided-to-decertify-the-iran-nuclear-deal/9049246 US President Donald Trump has struck a blow against the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in defiance of other world powers, choosing not to certify that Tehran is complying with the deal and warning he might ultimately terminate it.

Key points:

  • Mr Trump is expected to announce additional economic sanctions against Iran
  • He has previously called the pact “the worst deal ever negotiated”
  • The deal saw Iran limit its nuclear program in exchange for fewer economic sanctions

Mr Trump announced the major shift in US policy in a speech that detailed a more confrontational approach to Iran over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and its support for extremist groups in the Middle East.

Mr Trump said in an address at the White House that his goal was to ensure Iran never obtained a nuclear weapon.

While Mr Trump did not pull the United States out of the agreement, aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, he gave the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the pact.

That would increase tension with Iran as well as put Washington at odds with other signatories of the accord such as Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union.

Mr Trump warned that if “we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated.”

The US military said it was reviewing the “entire breadth” of its security cooperation activities, force posture and plans to support the new strategy.

“We are identifying new areas where we will work with allies to put pressure on the Iranian regime, neutralise its destabilising influences, and constrain its aggressive power projection, particularly its support for terrorist groups and militants,” Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, told Reuters.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is expected to respond to Mr Trump’s speech on live television in the coming hours.

Mixed responses to policy shift

The European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the US could not unilaterally cancel the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Ms Mogherini chaired the final stages of the landmark talks that brought the deal to fruition. She told reporters she spoke to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson immediately after Mr Trump’s speech.

“We cannot afford, as the international community, to dismantle a nuclear agreement that is working,” she said.

“This deal is not a bilateral agreement … The international community, and the European Union with it, has clearly indicated that the deal is, and will, continue to be in place.”

Mr Trump’s announcement was praised by politicians from countries that have strained relationships with Iran.

Saudi Arabia welcomed the new policy towards Iran and said lifting sanctions had allowed Iran to develop its ballistic missile program and step up its support for militant groups, state news agency SPA reported.

The kingdom said Iran took advantage of additional financial revenues to support for the Lebanese Shi’ite movement Hezbollah and the Houthi group in Yemen.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Mr Trump for his speech, seeing an opportunity to change the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran as well as Iranian conduct in the region.

“[Mr Trump] boldly confronted Iran’s terrorist regime [and] created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran’s aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism,” Mr Netanyahu said in a Facebook video.

Israel’s intelligence minister Israel Katz said the speech was “very significant” and could lead to war given threats that preceded it from Tehran.

Israel’s Channel 2 TV asked Mr Katz whether he saw a risk of war after the US leader’s speech.

“Absolutely, yes. I think that the speech was very significant,” he said.

“Iran is the new North Korea. We see where things are goings.” Reuters

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October 14, 2017 - Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA

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