President Trump Takes Action on Iran. Demands Congress Act.
President Donald Trump is taking action against the Iran Nuclear Deal implanted under the Obama administration, as is demanding Congress act as well.
The President announced Friday that he won’t certify that Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear agreement, detailing a lengthy list of complaints and vowing to cancel the deal himself if Congress and U.S. allies don’t act to address his concerns about the accord.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on this issue on Friday.
Mr. Trump reiterated his opposition to the agreement reached among international powers, declaring his decision after a lengthy denunciation of what he called a “rogue regime” run by radicals…
Mr. Trump’s move Friday deals a blow to the 2015 agreement, and touches off a high-pressure campaign in Washington and European capitals over the future of the deal.
Under a law passed in 2015 to give Congress oversight of the nuclear deal, the president must tell Congress every 90 days if Iran is complying. If the president doesn’t, that triggers a 60-day process for lawmakers to weigh whether to reimpose sanctions under expedited consideration.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—the formal name of the nuclear deal—gave Iran relief from punitive economic sanctions in exchange for curbing their nuclear program.
However Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson both have highlighted concerns with “sunset clauses” in the nuclear deal that allow restrictions to expire at various times, with Tillerson telling reporters that a renegotiation of the deal is needed.
There are some areas that were not addressed under the nuclear agreement that we think require further addressing, most specifically the ballistic missile program and the expiration date.
A reopening of the agreement…is unlikely, because Iran’s not going to reopen the agreement.
Congress, under the leadership of Senator Bob Corker, R-TN, is already drafting a new oversight legislation, but it is not clear if they could get Congressional backing to the new plan. This must happen before any “successor deal” is able to move forward.
The Journal Article continues:
Corker’s measure would reimpose sanctions if Iran violates restrictions spelled out in the legislation and would go beyond what is in the nuclear accord effectively ridding the JCPOA of its sunset provisions as they apply to U.S. sanctions as well as bolstering the verification powers of the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog and limiting Iran’s centrifuge program.
By paving the way for the U.S. to reimpose sanctions for reasons not covered by the original nuclear deal, the U.S. stands to be in breach of the international agreement. The proposals also are likely to meet pushback from European officials, who have repeatedly said that they don’t want to renegotiate the deal because they believe it is working.
It is a complicated deal, which is why the President cannot merely rescind it and walk away, but it is also not technically a treaty, since the Senate never confirmed it with a two-thirds vote as required by the Constitution. Trump has now begun the process of putting pressure on Congress to tackle a deal that essentially has no teeth to it, should Iran continue it’s nuclear program. Is it any wonder that European government officials would be all for it, since they have quite a history of making bad deals—Neville Chamberlain anyone?
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