Haley: US 'has grounds' to revoke Iran nuclear deal

Robyn Valdez
September 7, 2017

Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, who moderated a question-and-answer session after Ms. Haley's speech, said the ambassador should be given credit for publicly laying out the administration's thinking on Iran.

If Trump refuses in October - the next deadline - to certify compliance, she said, "What happens next is significantly in Congress's hands". "Either the administration believes Iran is in violation of the deal; or the lifting of sanctions against Iran is not appropriate and proportional to the regime's behavior; or the lifting of sanctions is not in the US national security interest".

Ms. Haley's comments came on a day when Mr. Trump was looking for support from world leaders for the most severe sanctions against North Korea that the United States has ever considered: a cutoff of oil flowing into the country.

It is presumed that North Korea is sharing its nuclear know-how and progress with the Iranian regime, and that it is assisting it with boosting its weapons program.

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Following Iran's ballistic missile tests in February, president Trump said "nothing is off the table" in dealing with Tehran.

She underscored that Trump has not yet chose to declare Iran in noncompliance, but that his decision to do so would not amount to USA withdrawal from the nuclear agreement. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas. President Trump has recertified Iran's compliance with deal twice since his inauguration, most recently in July. If lawmakers choose to reimpose sanctions lifted as part of the nuclear deal, that could effectively kill the agreement.

"Her presentation was, I think, well in line with longstanding criticisms of the JCPOA - that it insufficiently limits Iran's nuclear activities, at best fails to address and at worst abets the non-nuclear threats Iran poses, and - like it or dislike it - is ultimately temporary", Michael Singh, the former Middle East senior director in the George W. Bush administration National Security Council, told Al-Monitor.

Kicking the issue to Congress would also echo the president's newly announced approach on immigration and another Obama-era program that shielded from deportation some immigrants brought to the US illegally as children. Instead, she said the decision to leave the accord would be tossed to Congress, leaving room for lawmakers to keep in place USA sanctions relief.

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"At issue is our national security interest", Haley said. The key problem for the Trump administration's desire to withdraw from the JCPOA is simple: Iran is actually adhering to the terms of the deal.

Under U.S. law, she said, "We must consider not just the Iranian regime's technical violations of the JCPOA", referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan for Action, the deal's formal name, but also its violation of United Nations resolutions and Iran's history of aggression. She's leaving open the possibility that sanctions relief could remain.

"We will stay in a deal, as long as it protects the security of the United States".

A rhetorical challenge that Trump, Haley, and the drafters of her speech have faced is how to justify reneging on an agreement that, as the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency have confirmed, Iran is observing.

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"The Iran deal is about the nuclear issue, nothing else", Araud tweeted. She has been particularly expressive in recent months as Washington, a party to the deal that seems to want to withdraw has stepped up rhetoric and action against the deal.

Other reports by Info About Network

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