Anticipation builds over US decision on Iran nuclear deal

UN General Assembly

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani listens at a news conference during his visit for the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. President Donald Trump said he has made a decision on whether to walk away from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran but refused to say what it is, setting the stage for a particularly contentious meeting of the parties to the agreement. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The United Nations nuclear watchdog made it clear that Iran is abiding by the rules set out in the nuclear accord it signed with six world powers.

U.S. President Donald Trump indicated earlier Wednesday that he’s made a decision, but provided no details.

CGTN’s Patrice Howard reports on the controversy brewing during the UNGA.

This comes just days after the U.S. waived nuclear-related sanctions on Tehran, and put new ones on companies and individuals allegedly engaged in cyber attacks on U.S. banks and stock exchanges in 2011 and 2012. A sign that the White House may not exit the deal immediately.

Michael John Williams, Professor of International Relations at NYU doesn’t think that there is “any reason for a U.S. withdrawal,” and thinks “Trump’s only real argument for doing so is that it was Obama that did it, and that seems to be his guiding foreign policy anyway.”

Last week, a group of non-proliferation experts told the White House that abandoning the deal without evidence of an unresolved material breach by Iran “runs the risk” that Tehran would resume nuclear activities.

America’s global credibility is also at stake.

“If the U.S. withdraws from JCPOA the only people we are hurting are ourselves. We would then be closing the door with trade with Iran. We’d be giving an economic advantage to all our economic competitors, while not preventing Iran from creating weapons,” Jonathan Cristol, a fellow with the World Policy Institute warned.

The UN General Assembly offers the U.S. and Iran a very public platform to discuss the controversial nuclear deal. It’s also a chance for other nations to weigh in, which they have.

Iran has said it will stick to its end of the negotiated deal if other nations stick to theirs. The question is if the nuclear arrangement can stand without the U.S.

Kavah Afrasiabi talks about Iranian president Rouhani’s recent speech at the UN

CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke with Kavah Afrasiabi, a member of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s U.N. delegation, about Rouhani’s speech.