Lavrov says Tehran abides by all commitments on Iran nuclear deal

Friday, 13 Oct, 2017

The state-run IRNA news agency reported that the country's top diplomat, Mohammad Javad Zarif, briefed lawmakers during a closed session of parliament on Trump's anticipated refusal to certify Iran's nuclear deal with world powers. Iran has always insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and denies it has aimed to build an atomic bomb.

"I expect President Trump will not certify it", said Elizabeth Rosenberg, an Iran expert at the Center for a New American Security, a progressive think tank.

"They came up with a plan that protects the things they are concerned about but doesn't recertify, which the president made clear he was not going to do".

The officials discussing the details and timing of the announcement spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss internal deliberations.

The official said Trump has been telling foreign leaders and USA lawmakers that his refusal to certify the Iran deal would not blow it up. "The chances of him walking away from it go down if they work with him on making it better", the official said.

But France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the European Union - who negotiated the deal along with the U.S., China, Russia, and Iran - have all said the deal is working well and urged the stay in it. French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed concern about Iran's ballistic missiles and the "sunset" provisions as well.

"The perception is that, look, Gaddafi gave his up and he's dead, and Iran gave theirs up and the United States didn't comply with the agreement".

What is Trump expected to say or do about the deal?

As long as Iran honors the terms of the deal, the European side will do the same, Mogherini and Gabriel added.

"We have different options and will choose the one that serves the interests of the country and the regime", Rouhani said. If the president doesn't certify compliance with the requirements, Congress has 60 days to decide whether to re-impose or "snap back" sanctions lifted under the agreement.

To win over some conservative Republicans and Iran hawks, Corker and other leaders are considering proposing sanctions on Iran's non-nuclear activities and broader inspections, particularly of Iranian military facilities.

President Trump's upcoming decision on how he will deal with the unsafe and flawed nuclear agreement is a moment for moral clarity and may be a defining moment of his presidency.

However, with the agreement in place and strongly supported by co-signers Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, many Republicans who still abhor the pact nevertheless do not want to blow it up for fear that doing so would erode USA credibility.

France, Germany and Britain, despite their opposition to Washington backing away from the deal, have told US lawmakers that they could join discussions on constraining Iran's long-term nuclear ambitions, according to one congressional Democratic aide.

By moving unilaterally to scrap the agreement against the advice of many members of his own cabinet, the other nations that signed the deal, and most of the world, Trump is "undermin [ing] the credibility of the United States in all manner of negotiations, making it unlikely-to take just one unsafe example-the standoff with North Korea will be resolved by peaceful means".

"At the end of the day, though, everyone recognizes that he's the decider". He called Trump's move to kick the deal to Congress a "trap" and "a tactic meant to reach the president's goal of tearing the deal apart".

So far Trump has certified the accord but said the next deadline on Sunday is the crucial one.