Trump to rip Iran and ques­tion deal, aides say

The Columbus Dispatch - - Nation&world - By Matthew Lee

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump plans to de­liver a broad and harsh cri­tique of Iran in a speech Fri­day declar­ing that the land­mark Iran nu­clear deal is not in Amer­ica’s na­tional-se­cu­rity in­ter­ests, ac­cord­ing to U.S. of­fi­cials and out­side ad­vis­ers to the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Trump’s speech from the White House will out­line spe­cific faults he finds in the 2015 ac­cord, but it also will fo­cus on an ar­ray of Iran’s trou­bling non-nu­clear ac­tiv­i­ties, four of­fi­cials and ad­vis­ers said. Those ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude Tehran’s bal­lis­tic-mis­sile pro­gram and its sup­port for Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad, Le­banon’s Hezbol­lah move­ment and other groups that desta­bi­lize the re­gion.

Un­der U.S. law, Trump faces a Sun­day dead­line to no­tify Con­gress whether Iran is com­ply­ing with the ac­cord and to de­ter­mine whether it re­mains a na­tional-se­cu­rity pri­or­ity. Although Trump in­tends to say that Iran is liv­ing up to the let­ter of the agree­ment, which was painstak­ingly ne­go­ti­ated by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion over 18 months, the pres­i­dent will make the case that the deal is fa­tally flawed and that Tehran’s non-nu­clear be­hav­ior vi­o­lates the spirit of the re­gional sta­bil­ity the deal was in­tended to en­cour­age, the of­fi­cials and ad­vis­ers said.

The of­fi­cials and ad­vis­ers, who in­sisted on anonymity be­cause they were not au­tho­rized to pub­licly pre­view the speech, said Trump will not call for a reim­po­si­tion of nu­clear sanc­tions on Tehran.

He will in­stead urge law­mak­ers to cod­ify tough new re­quire­ments for Tehran to meet if it wants to con­tinue to ben­e­fit from the sanc­tions re­lief it won in ex­change for curb­ing its atomic pro­gram. And he will an­nounce his long-an­tic­i­pated in­tent to im­pose sanc­tions on Iran’s Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard Corps by des­ig­nat­ing it a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion un­der an ex­ist­ing ex­ec­u­tive or­der, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cials and ad­vis­ers.

In ad­di­tion, Trump will ask Con­gress to amend or re­place out­right the leg­is­la­tion that re­quires him to cer­tify Ira­nian com­pli­ance ev­ery 90 days. Of­fi­cials have said that Trump hates the re­quire­ment more than the nu­clear deal it­self be­cause it forces him to take a po­si­tion ev­ery three months on what he has de­nounced as the worst deal in Amer­i­can his­tory.

At the White House, Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, con­firmed the pres­i­dent would an­nounce the re­sults of his Iran-pol­icy re­view on Fri­day.

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