What will happen if President Trump decertifies the Iran nuclear deal?

What will happen if President Trump decertifies the Iran nuclear deal?

President Donald Trump says he will "very shortly" announce his decision on U.S. participation in the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

Trump is expected to unveil a broad strategy on confronting Iran this week, likely on Friday.

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".

A decision by Trump to decertify the deal would leave it at grave risk, with the US Congress having 60 days to decide whether to re-impose specific sanctions on Tehran that were lifted because of the diplomatic pact.

Under the Obama administration, Iran's stockpile of heavy water (that can be used in certain nuclear reactors) twice went above the agreed limits, although according to the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is now well below that benchmark. 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.

Trump faces an October 15 deadline mandated by law to tell Congress if he believes Iran is complying with the nuclear accord and if it advances USA interests.

Deutch said the danger of walking away from the agreement is that those expiration dates "would have effectively dropped from a decade to a day" because Iran would be freed of its obligations under the deal.

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"Of all the places it could have been on the spectrum, this is very much at the better end", one European official said.

European officials expressed relief that the White House speech did not appear to represent an United States abrogation of the 2015 deal, which they had intensively lobbied against since it became clear over recent months that Trump did not want to continue to certify the deal to Congress.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has reportedly been briefing key lawmakers on the administration's plans over decertifying the nuclear agreement. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., would demand that the intelligence community produce judgments on a wide range of Iranian behavior that is not covered by the nuclear deal, including ballistic missile testing and development and threats to Israel and the Mideast more broadly.

Joining them were ambassadors to the United States from France, Germany and Britain - three European nations that also were parties to the multilateral agreement and have urged the United States not to abandon the deal so arduously negotiated.

The reversal underscores deep concerns among lawmakers that Trump will inform Congress in the coming days that the landmark 2015 agreement with Iran is contrary to America's national security interests.

Notably, the committee's top Republican, Rep. Ed Royce, said the USA should adhere to the deal.

Trump will also call on Congress to amend legislation that requires him to certify the agreement every 90 days, a source of political embarrassment as he has repeatedly denounced it as the "worst deal ever". Engel, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said unwinding the agreement would send a risky signal to allies and adversaries alike.

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., opposed the Iran nuclear agreement in part because the deal gave Tehran access to tens of billions of dollars in previously frozen assets.

Political observers have warned that any unilateral action by the United States based on unsupported claims of Iranian non-compliance would isolate Washington, impede future efforts for other nonproliferation agreements in the broader global community and increase the likelihood of a wider conflict in the Middle East.

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