Proxy war over Iran nuclear agreement divides US, Europe at the United Nations
NEW YORK — As President Donald J. Trump prepares to announce whether he’ll certify Iran’s compliance with the deal to curb its nuclear program, US and European negotiators at the United Nations (UN) are on another collision course — this time over the Islamic Republic’s human rights record.
The US is pushing for tougher language condemning Iran for human rights violations in the draft of a UN resolution that’s typically taken up every year, but allies — including some in Europe — are pushing back, just as they are in defending the nuclear accord that Mr. Trump has called “the worst deal ever.”
While both sides want to criticize Iran on human rights, they disagree over how far to go and whether to give President Hassan Rouhani some credit, according to notes on the draft shared with Bloomberg News.
Maneuvering over the resolution comes ahead of an Oct. 15 deadline Mr. Trump faces under US law to tell Congress if he can confirm Iran is complying with the 2015 accord he’s called an “embarrassment to the United States.” The president may decertify Iran and push for new constraints on its behavior but keep the US in the multinational agreement, which lifted a range of economic sanctions in exchange for curbs on the nuclear program.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, and other Trump advisers have argued that the accord’s inspections regime, led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has loopholes. They also say the agreement negotiated under President Barack Obama falls short because it fails to address Iran’s continuing ballistic missile program, its involvement in conflicts across the Middle East and its human rights record.
GIVING TRUMP A WIN
The world “must also continue to hold Iran responsible for its missile launches, support for terrorism, disregard for human rights, and violations of UN Security Council resolutions,” Ms. Haley said in August after Mr. Rouhani threatened to abandon the nuclear deal if Iran faced more sanctions.