Trump to ‘decertify’ Iran nuclear deal in major US poli…
President Trump will “decertify” the 2015 Iran nuclear deal but will not scrap the agreement, the US secretary of state has said.
Rex Tillerson said the President would make the announcement in a speech this afternoon.
The landmark Obama-brokered deal – agreed in 2015 – limited Iran’s nuclear capability in return for the lifting of some sanctions.
Mr Tillerson said: “The intent is that we will stay in the (deal), but the President is going to decertify.”
However, he said the President would not ask Congress to “snap back” the sanctions because that “would, in effect, say we’re walking away from the deal”.
The deal currently has to be certified every 90 days, and decertification means the matter will be forwarded to the US Congress.
It will then have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions or modify the laws on America’s involvement in the pact, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The sanctions had included a freezing of financial assets, weapons sales and crude oil exports.
Under the restrictions, Iran lost more than a hundred billion dollars in oil revenue between 2012 and 2016 alone.
On implementation day in January 2016, the White House said Iran had completed all the steps needed to ensure its nuclear programme was exclusively peaceful.
This included shipping 25,000 pounds of enriched uranium out of the country, and the dismantling and removing of two-thirds of its centrifuges, used to enrich uranium.
President Trump has a Sunday deadline to notify Congress on whether Iran is complying with the deal and if it is still a national security priority.
Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he expects to bring in new legislation in the next two weeks to “address flaws” in the pact.
Russia had said that if the US pulled out entirely, it would damage the current atmosphere of security, stability and non-proliferation around the world.
Donald Trump recently told the UN General Assembly the deal was an “embarrassment” to America and “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into”.
He will also reportedly use Friday’s speech to focus on Iran’s non-nuclear activities, such as its ballistic missile programme, and support for Syria’s President Assad and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Some US sanctions against Iran remain in place, including against people and companies it says support the country’s ballistic missile programme.
Mr Tillerson also said Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard would be hit with additional sanctions, but would not be declared a terrorist organisation.
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