Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

Some Democrats who opposed Iran nuke deal now want it upheld

Some Democrats who opposed Iran nuke deal now want it upheld

The EU foreign policy chief discussed the possibility of continuation of the Iran deal even if Trump chooses to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"If the feeling is that the United States no longer supports the agreement, then the political reality is that the agreement will be in serious jeopardy and its implementation will be very hard", a senior French diplomat said. That could include sanctioning Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization or trying to cripple the country's ballistic missile program with more sanctions, two sources told ABC News. Joined by several Democrats, they almost passed legislation to kill the deal in which Iran agreed to curb its disputed nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

News reported the White House briefed lawmakers Wednesday on the pending decision and those who left were convinced the Obama-era nuclear deal would get decertified.

She said that United States would lose global trust "because a deal that America voted for just two years ago in the UN Security Council with a resolution unanimously adopted, a deal that America helped to shape enormously, enormously, would be rejected by the same country".

On the other hand, some argue decertification and the possibility of US sanctions on Iran might win support from the Europeans. Engel, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said unwinding the agreement would send a unsafe signal to allies and adversaries alike. However, some members of Congress have expressed a willingness to hold off on sanctions to give Trump time to negotiate a strategy with the Europeans to alter the deal.

Two other USA officials, who also requested anonymity, said Trump's bellicose rhetoric on a number of fronts is troubling both many of his own aides and some of America's closest allies, a few of whom have asked US officials privately if Trump's real objective is attacking Iran's nuclear facilities.

Republicans have complained that the deal delays Iran's nuclear ambitions but could allow Iran to resume its nuclear program after certain restrictions expire.

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

More news: Chester Bennington & Linkin Park's 'Carpool Karaoke' Ep Released

Iran has said it is open in principle to further discussions, particularly with Europe, but has said its missile programme is non-negotiable. "We may have to array our forces to prepare for. calibrated strikes".

The Foreign Office said Johnson also spoke to Zarif and will meet Ali Akhbar Salehi, Iran's vice president and head of its nuclear agency, in London on Wednesday.

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

Beyond decertification, there are a number of ways the Trump administration could put pressure on Iran to come back to the negotiating table.

Who says they are not holding up their end of the deal? 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.

Making this worse, IAEA Director Amano made a stunning revelation in a late September Reuters interview that the IAEA is unable to verify Iran is implementing the JCPOA because it does not have the means to ensure that Tehran has not engaged in activities that "could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device".

What exactly that will look like is still being determined, but it could include greater congressional oversight.

Like this: