Trump throws fu­ture of Iran deal to Congress

Manila Times - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON, D. C.: Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump will un­veil a more ag­gres­sive strat­egy to check Iran’s grow­ing power Fri­day, but will stop short of with­draw­ing from a land­mark nu­clear deal, or declar­ing the pow­er­ful Is­lamic Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard Corps a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Dur­ing a White House speech at 12:45 pm (1645 GMT), Trump is ex­pected to de­clare the land­mark 2015 agree­ment—which curbed Iran’s nu­clear pro­gram in re­turn for mas­sive sanc­tions re­lief—is no longer in the US na­tional in­ter­est.

Of­fi­cials say he will not kill the in­ter­na­tional ac­cord out­right, in­stead “de­cer­ti­fy­ing” the agree­ment and leav­ing US law­mak­ers to de­cide its fate.

Trump had re­peat­edly pledged to over­turn one of his pre­de­ces­sor Barack Obama’s crown­ing for­eign pol­icy achieve­ments, de­rid­ing it as “the worst deal” and one agreed to out of “weak­ness.”

The agree­ment was signed be­tween Iran and six world pow­ers— Bri­tain, China, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia and the US—at talks co­or­di­nated by the Euro­pean Union.

While the deal stalled Iran’s nu­clear pro­gram and thawed re­la­tions be­tween Iran and its “Great Satan”, op­po­nents say it also pre­vented ef in the Mid­dle East.

faced in­tense lob­by­ing from in­ter­na­tional al­lies and his own na­tional se­cu­rity team, who ar­gued the deal should re­main in place.

In an­other par­tial climb­down, Trump is also ex­pected to levy lim­ited sanc­tions against the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guards, rather than invit­ing re­tal­i­a­tion by des­ig­nat­ing it as a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion.

more some of the di­vi­sions and de­bates within the ad­min­is­tra­tion,” said for­mer US Mid­dle East en­voy Dennis Ross.

Apart from run­ning swaths of Iran’s econ­omy and Iran’s bal­lis­tic pro­gram, the corps is also ac­cused of guid­ing bel­li­cose prox­ies from Hezbol­lah in Le­banon, to the Huthi in Ye­men to Shia mili­tia in Iraq and Syria.

Still, Trump’s tough-guy gam­bit could yet risk un­do­ing years of care­ful diplo­macy and in­creas­ing Mid­dle East ten­sions.

UN nu­clear in­spec­tors say Iran is meet­ing the tech­ni­cal re­quire­ments of its side of the bar­gain, dra­mat­i­cally cur­tail­ing its nu­clear pro­gram in ex­change for sanc­tions re­lief.

Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani lashed out at US coun­ter­part say­ing he was op­pos­ing “the whole world” by try­ing to aban­don a land­mark nu­clear agree­ment.

“It will be ab­so­lutely clear which is the law­less gov­ern­ment. It will be clear which coun­try is re­spected by the na­tions of the world and global public opin­ion,” he added.

And Congress must now de­cide whether to end the nu­clear ac­cord by “snap­ping back” sanc­tions, which Iran de­manded be lifted in ex­change for lim­it­ing ura­nium en­rich­ment.

Many law­mak­ers are wait­ing to see how Trump presents the choice be­fore de­cid­ing whether to keep or tor­pedo the agree­ment.

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