Trump com­mit­ted to pre­vent­ing a nu­clear Iran, se­nior aide says

Green­blatt: ‘Many op­tions,’ in­clud­ing rene­go­ti­a­tion of Iran deal

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By MICHAEL WILNER

WASH­ING­TON – Repub­li­can nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump has no de­tailed plan for pre­vent­ing a nu­clear-armed Iran, but plans as pres­i­dent to strictly en­force an international deal that he hates de­signed for that pur­pose, one of his se­nior ad­vis­ers told The Jerusalem Post last week.

Trump “would def­i­nitely en­force it [the Iran deal] very strongly,” said Ja­son Green­blatt, the GOP can­di­date’s top adviser on Is­rael and Jewish-world is­sues, of the Joint Com­pre­hen­sive Plan of Ac­tion.

Trump, a New York real es­tate icon, has char­ac­ter­ized the JCPOA as one of the worst deals he has ever seen. The can­di­date con­sid­ers him­self an ex­cep­tional “deal­maker”– a key tenet of his cam­paign for pres­i­dent.

“[Texas Se­na­tor Ted] Cruz fa­mously kept say­ing dur­ing the de­bates that he would rip it up on day one,” Green­blatt said of the deal. “It’s a lot more com­pli­cated than that.”

While he would “police the hell” out of the agree­ment as pres­i­dent, Trump also does not be­lieve the JCPOA will pre­vent Tehran from ac­quir­ing nu­clear weapons – or a nu­clear in­fra­struc­ture large enough to con­sti­tute Iran as a nu­clear-thresh­old state.

What Trump would do to pre­vent Iran from ac­quir­ing this ca­pa­bil­ity is not yet clear, Green­blatt said.

“It’s a lit­tle bit pre­ma­ture to get into the weeds at that level, but his ul­ti­mate goal is to try to en­sure that Iran does not have nu­clear weapons,” Green­blatt said, asked whether Trump would support re­new­ing US sanc­tions laws or pass­ing new sanc­tions tar­get­ing Iran in non-nu­clear spheres. “How we get there – whether creatively, or rene­go­ti­at­ing, there are so many op­tions – is what his fo­cus will be.”

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion says the JCPOA is the best deal pos­si­ble to en­sure that Iran never ac­quires a nu­clear weapon – a deal that shuts down all of the coun­try’s path­ways to the bomb, gov­erned by a strict ver­i­fi­ca­tion regime. In ex­change, international pow­ers have re­lieved sanc­tions tar­get­ing Iran’s nu­clear pro­gram, which will be al­lowed to grow over time for non-mil­i­tary pur­poses.

Crit­ics ar­gue that the growth of that nu­clear pro­gram will ef­fec­tively turn Iran into a nu­clear power – that its pro­gram will be al­lowed to grow le­git­i­mately to in­dus­trial strength, and that Tehran’s “break­out” time, should it choose to build a weapon, will ul­ti­mately reach no time at all.

Green­blatt seemed to dis­miss scrap­ping the deal in part be­cause Iran has al­ready re­ceived sig­nif­i­cant sanc­tions re­lief – bil­lions of dol­lars have al­ready been re­leased, and busi­nesses are al­ready in­vest­ing in the coun­try, he noted.

The top aide de­clined to spec­ify whether Trump’s en­force­ment of the deal would re­spect its “spirit”– un­der­stand­ings im­plicit within the text of the agree­ment, and among the diplo­mats who ne­go­ti­ated it, that are not writ­ten into the let­ter of the agree­ment it­self.

“I think his con­cern is not so much the spirit of the deal, but mak­ing sure that Is­rael is not threat­ened – and even be­yond Is­rael, re­ally the re­gion and ex­tend­ing into the world,” he said.

(Stephen Lam/Reuters)

PRE­SUMP­TIVE REPUB­LI­CAN pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump speaks dur­ing a cam­paign rally last week in Red­ding, Cal­i­for­nia.

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