Trump re­sists pres­sure to soften stance on Iran

Millennium Post - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON: Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump finds him­self un­der im­mense pres­sure as he con­sid­ers de-cer­ti­fy­ing the in­ter­na­tional nu­clear deal with Iran, a move that would ig­nore warn­ings from in­side and out­side his ad­min­is­tra­tion that to do so would risk un­der­min­ing US cred­i­bil­ity.

Trump is ex­pected to un­veil a broad strat­egy on con­fronting Iran this week, likely on Fri­day. There was al­ways the chance he could still have a last-minute change of heart and cer­tify Iran’s com­pli­ance with the 2015 ac­cord, which he has called an “em­bar­rass­ment” and the “worst deal ever ne­go­ti­ated.”

Se­nior US of­fi­cials, Euro­pean al­lies and prom­i­nent US law­mak­ers have told Trump that re­fus­ing to cer­tify the deal would leave the US iso­lated, con­cede the diplo­matic high ground to Tehran, and ul­ti­mately risk the un­rav­el­ing of the agree­ment.

Signed by the United States, Bri­tain, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia, China, the Euro­pean Union and Iran, the deal re­lieved sanc­tions on Tehran in ex­change for curb­ing its dis­puted nu­clear pro­gram. The In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency (IAEA) con­cluded that Iran se­cretly re­searched a nu­clear war- head un­til 2009, which Tehran de­nies. Iran has al­ways in­sisted that its nu­clear pro­gram is for peace­ful pur­poses and de­nies it has aimed to build an atomic bomb.

Af­ter Trump made clear three months ago he would not cer­tify Iran’s com­pli­ance with the deal, his ad­vis­ers moved to give him op­tions to con­sider, a se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial said. “They came up with a plan that pro­tects the things they are con­cerned about but doesn’t re­cer­tify, which the pres­i­dent made clear he was not go­ing to do. That ship has sailed,” ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity.

The of­fi­cial said Trump has been telling for­eign lead­ers and US law­mak­ers that his re­fusal to cer­tify the Iran deal would not blow it up.

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