Trump resists pressure to soften stance on Iran nuclear deal
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump finds himself under immense pressure as he considers decertifying the international nuclear deal with Iran, a move that would ignore warnings from inside and outside his administration that to do so would risk underminingU.S. 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 U.S. officials, European allies and prominent U.S. lawmakers have told Trump that refusing to certify the deal would leave the U.S. 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 giving up its nuclear weapons program.
After Trump made clear three months ago he would not certify Iran’s compliance, 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.