President Trump refused Friday to certify that Iran is complying with Barack Obama’s expensive Iran nuclear deal, which cost American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in cash, telling members of Congress there are “many serious flaws” that need to be addressed.
The decision not to recertify doesn’t mean the deal collapses immediately. Under a 2015 law, the president must inform Congress every 90 days if Iran is complying. A determination that Iran is not in compliance triggers a 60-day process for lawmakers to decide whether or not to reimpose sanctions.
Trump does have the authority, as president, to simply remove the U.S. from the agreement, a move that undoubtedly would send shock waves through Iran and the other world powers in the deal.
Trump argued Iran is under the control “of a fanatic regime” that repeatedly has attacked and killed Americans over the years.
That aggression, he said, “continues to this day.”
Trump said his goal is to make sure “Iran never, and I mean never, acquires a nuclear weapon.”
“Given the regime’s murderous past and present, we should not take lightly its sinister vision for the future. The regime’s two favorite chants are ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel,'” he said.
“The Iranian regime has committed multiple violations of the agreement. For example, on two separate occasions, they have exceeded the limit of 130 metric tons of heavy water. Until recently, the Iranian regime has also failed to meet our expectations in its operation of advanced centrifuges,” he said. “The Iranian regime has also intimidated international inspectors into not using the full inspection authorities that the agreement calls for.”
He plans to work with allies to curb Iran’s influence. Then there will be more sanctions.
Also, Iran’s missiles will be addressed.
“And finally, we will deny the regime all paths to a nuclear weapon.”
He said, “We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror, and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout.”
Several senators already have made proposals for changes, and other world leaders have expressed concern.
The other nations in the pact are Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.
German officials of late have warned that the U.S. could damage relations with Europe.
Russian officials say they believe Iran would walk away from the deal – with the $1.7 billion in American cash they’ve already taken – if the U.S. leaves.
Trump’s “new strategy” will focus on Iran’s ballistic missile testing and its destabilizing activities throughout the region in countries such as Yemen and Syria. It also designates the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an arm of the Iranian military, as a terrorist organization.
“The Trump administration’s Iran policy will address the totality of these threats from and malign activities by the government of Iran and will seek to bring about a change in the Iranian’s regime’s behavior,” the White House said.
Trump’s statement said, “It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction.”
The statement continued: “We will work to deny the Iranian regime – and especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – funding for its malign activities, and oppose IRGC activities that extort the wealth of the Iranian people. We will rally the international community to condemn the IRGC’s gross violations of human rights and its unjust detention of American citizens and other foreigners on specious charges.”
A report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin explained the deal actually allows no provisions for genuine inspections.
The Middle East Media Research Institute reported it’s because “the inspection procedure takes place only at sites where Iran has agreed to allow inspection, that is, sites Iran itself has declared as nuclear sites, but not at any other sites in Iran, including military sites.”
“The Obama administration and the countries party to the JCPOA designed the JCPOA in a way that on the one hand they can claim that a robust inspection is being applied while on the other hand they allowed Iran to evade inspection in all other sites.”
MEMRI said: “Recently, Western officials and commentators who support the JCPOA began to address two issues related to the JCPOA that they themselves admit to be problems that must be addressed. However, these issues – Iran’s development of long-range ballistic missiles, and the sunset clause, which refers to the removal, in eight to 10 years, of the restrictions on Iran set out in the agreement – are either not part of the JCPOA, i.e. the missiles, or are a long way off, i.e. the sunset clause, and therefore need not necessarily be addressed immediately.
“Thus, by raising these two issues they are diverting attention from the main, critical problem in the agreement which does require immediate attention: its lack of real inspection. This problem came up again recently when it was reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had chosen to refrain from inspecting sites in Iran based on information submitted to it about possible violations.
“It should be clarified that when Iran, the IAEA, and the heads of the parties to the JCPOA reiterate that there is robust, intrusive, and unprecedented inspection, they are perpetuating the false depiction of the section of the JCPOA concerning inspection.”