Trump set to with­draw Iran deal back­ing

The Philippine Star - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON (AFP) — US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump will un­veil a more ag­gres­sive strat­egy to check Iran’s grow­ing might on Sun­day, with­draw­ing pres­i­den­tial back­ing for a land­mark nu­clear deal and tar­get­ing the coun­try’s mis­sile pro­gram and mili­tia prox­ies.

Dur­ing a White House speech at 12:45 p.m. (1645 GMT), Trump is ex­pected to de­clare a 2015 deal, 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 deal out­right, or des­ig­nate Iran’s pow­er­ful Is­lamic Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard Corps a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion — a move that would al­most cer­tainly bring re­tal­ia­tory ac­tion.

In­stead he will leave US law­mak­ers to de­cide whether they want to kick away one of the ac­cords foun­da­tional pil­lars by “snap­ping back” sanc­tions against Iran.

Many law­mak­ers are wait­ing to see how Trump presents the choice, with no clear con­sen­sus even among Repub­li­cans on whether to tor­pedo the agree­ment.

In a state­ment to AFP, lead­ing Repub­li­can Se­na­tor Marco Ru­bio de­scribed the ac­cord as “fa­tal­lyflawed” and said he was open to leg­is­la­tion that would “sub­stan­tially im­prove Amer­ica’s abil­ity to counter Iran’s nu­clear, ter­ror­ism, mil­i­tancy and re­gional threats.”

While Trump’s de­ci­sion is largely rhetor­i­cal — de­signed to meet a key cam­paign pledge — it risks un­pick­ing years of care­ful diplo­macy and in­creas­ing Mid­dle East ten­sions.

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.

Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son spent much of the week on the tele­phone, talk­ing through a de­ci­sion that is deeply un­pop­u­lar with al­lies.

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.

So, while US of­fi­cials still in­sist that “Amer­ica First” does not mean “Amer­ica Alone,” on this is­sue they are starkly iso­lated. The other sig­na­to­ries all back the deal.

Peo­ple take part in a protest call­ing for the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to con­tinue diplo­macy with Iran, near the White House in Wash­ing­ton on Wed­nes­day. AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.