Trump Looks Set To Start Blowing Up the Iran Deal, by Eli Clifton

Is Trump’s decertification of the Iran Nuclear Agreement the first step towards war with Iran? From Eli Clifton at antiwar.com:

President Donald Trump is expected to “de-certify” the Iran nuclear deal, claiming it is not in the national interest of the United States. Decertification would begin a 60-day congressional review period during which the administration may propose legislation to “strengthen” the agreement and Congress may decide to re-impose sanctions, according to The Washington Post.

If Trump pursues this strategy, he will be going against his own secretary of defense, James Mattis, who told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was in the national security interest of the U.S.

He will also be going against the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, who told the committee in a written statement last month that “The briefings I have received indicate that Iran is adhering to its JCPOA obligations.” He also warned the administration to abide by the agreement, saying, “It makes sense to me that our holding up agreements that we have signed, unless there’s a material breach, would have an impact on others’ willingness to sign agreements.”

Indeed, the strategy of decertifying Iran’s compliance with the deal, even when there is no evidence emerging from the intelligence community or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of Iranian noncompliance, would also go against US public opinion. Sixty-percent of Americans say that the US should participate in the “agreement that lifts some international economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for strict limits on its nuclear program for at least the next decade,” according to recent polling data released by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former national adviser, Uzi Arad, has urged the White House and Congress not to abandon the JCPOA.

But the White House strategy does have its backers in the most hawkish wings of the Republican Party and a small set of Trump’s biggest political donors.

To continue reading: Trump Looks Set To Start Blowing Up the Iran Deal

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