Arms con­trol ex­perts urge Trump to honor Iran nu­clear deal

Iran Daily - - Front Page -

Alarmed that President Trump may soon take steps that could un­ravel the in­ter­na­tional nu­clear agree­ment with Iran, more than 80 dis­ar­ma­ment ex­perts urged him on Wed­nes­day to re­con­sider and said the ac­cord was work­ing.

In a joint state­ment, the ex­perts said the 2015 agree­ment, ne­go­ti­ated by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion and the govern­ments of Bri­tain, China, France, Ger­many and Rus­sia, was a “net plus for in­ter­na­tional nu­clear non­pro­lif­er­a­tion ef­forts.”

Be­cause of the mon­i­tor­ing pow­ers con­tained in the agree­ment, they said, Iran’s ca­pa­bil­ity to pro­duce nu­clear weapons has been sharply re­duced. They also said the agree­ment made it “very likely that any pos­si­ble fu­ture ef­fort by Iran to pur­sue nu­clear weapons, even a clan­des­tine pro­gram, would be de­tected promptly.” [Iran’s nu­clear pro­gram is for peace­ful pur­poses as sev­eral times en­dorsed by the In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency].

Mr. Trump has re­peat­edly as­sailed the agree­ment — a sig­na­ture achieve­ment of his pre­de­ces­sor — de­scrib­ing it as “a ter­ri­ble deal” and a give­away to Iran.

He also has said that he be­lieves Iran is vi­o­lat­ing the ac­cord, an as­ser­tion that has been con­tra­dicted by the In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency, the United Na­tions nu­clear mon­i­tor that po­lices Iran’s com­pli­ance.

The ac­cord, known as the Joint Com­pre­hen­sive Plan of Ac­tion, lim­ited Iran’s nu­clear ac­tiv­i­ties in re­turn for end­ing or eas­ing many sanc­tions that were hurt­ing the Ira­nian econ­omy.

Un­der an Amer­i­can law, Mr. Trump must re­cer­tify every 90 days that Iran is com­ply­ing with the nu­clear ac­cord, or the Amer­i­can sanc­tions that were lifted could be re­in­stated. The next 90-day dead­line is in mid-oc­to­ber.

When he re­luc­tantly signed the last re­cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in July, Mr. Trump said, “If it was up to me, I would have had them non­com­pli­ant 180 days ago.”

The pos­si­bil­ity that Mr. Trump may find a rea­son to de­clare Iran non­com­pli­ant, re­gard­less of the mer­its, alarmed the non­pro­lif­er­a­tion ex­perts.

They warned in their state­ment that “uni­lat­eral ac­tion by the United States, es­pe­cially on the ba­sis of un­sup­ported con­tentions of Ira­nian cheat­ing, would iso­late the United States.”

Ira­nian of­fi­cials have said that any re­sump­tion of the nu­clear-re­lated sanc­tions by the United States would vi­o­late the deal.

Whether that would lead to its un­rav­el­ing is un­clear, but President Has­san Rouhani of Iran has sug­gested the coun­try could quickly re­store the nu­clear-fuel en­rich­ment ca­pa­bil­i­ties that had been lim­ited by the agree­ment.

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