Trump un­veils tough new Iran strat­egy

HE DE­CLARES THE 2015 AGREE­MENT IS NO LONGER IN THE US NA­TIONAL IN­TER­EST

Gulf News - - FRONT PAGE -

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump was to un­veil a more ag­gres­sive strat­egy to check Iran’s grow­ing power yes­ter­day, but stop short of with­draw­ing from a land­mark nu­clear deal or declar­ing the pow­er­ful Is­lamic Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard Corps a ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Dur­ing a speech from the Diplo­matic Re­cep­tion Room of the White House, Trump will de­clare the 2015 agree­ment — which curbed Iran’s nu­clear pro­gramme in re­turn for sanc­tions re­lief — is no longer in the US na­tional in­ter­est.

Trump will with­draw pres­i­den­tial sup­port for the land­mark nu­clear deal — known as the JCPOA — but will stop short of killing the agree­ment, his Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son said. “The in­tent is that we will stay in the JCPOA, but the pres­i­dent is go­ing to de­cer­tify.”

“We’re say­ing, fine, they’re meet­ing the tech­ni­cal com­pli­ance,” he said in­di­cat­ing that the broader agree­ment would re­main in­tact for now.

That will leave 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.

In his speech, Trump will rail against Iran’s “desta­bil­is­ing in­flu­ence” in the Mid­dle East, “par­tic­u­larly its sup­port for ter­ror­ism and mil­i­tants,” ac­cord­ing to a fact sheet re­leased by the White House.

“We don’t think that nu­clear agree­ment should de­fine the en­tire pol­icy,” said Tiller­son. “There are also many more im­me­di­ate con­cerns we have with Iran’s desta­bil­is­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the area and in the re­gion.”

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