Trump no longer certifies Iran’s compliance with nuclear deal

World Today

A major announcement from the White House with global repercussions. U.S. President Trump said he will not certify Iran’s compliance with the multi-lateral nuclear agreement. 

CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg reports.

But he stepped back from unraveling it altogether – for now. That hasn’t stopped many around the world, and here in the U.S., from criticizing the White House’s decision. CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg reports on the details.

It was a presidential punt that could hardly be described as a surprise. Donald Trump, the U.S. President, declined on Friday to certify Iranian compliance of a two-year old international agreement meant to curb Tehran’s nuclear development.

“Today, I am announcing our strategy along with several major steps we are taking to confront the Iranian regime’s hostile actions and to ensure that Iran never, and I mean never, acquires a nuclear weapon,” said Trump.

Trump had certified the deal twice before, begrudgingly. As a candidate last year, the self-proclaimed deal expert called it the “worst deal ever.”

“We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror, and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout,” he stated.

Leading opposition lawmakers in Washington slammed the announcement as “a grave mistake.” “Threatening this agreement does not isolate Iran. It isolates America,” warned Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House Minority Leader.

The certification is not part of the internationally-backed Iran deal, but rather a domestic fail-safe mechanism; a mandate from the U.S. Congress requiring presidential sign-off every 90 days. Introduced by skeptic lawmakers, it also requires the president to consider changing U.S. national security interests in the wake of suspended sanctions.

Congress now has 60 days to decide to re-impose those sanctions, unilaterally or, perhaps, to introduce new ones. It could also do nothing, leaving the deal as is.

Still, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed Friday’s announcement and said that the deal was stronger than Trump may have imagined.

“As long as our interests are in the deal. As long as the interests of the country require IT, And as long as our country benefits from the deal, We respect this agreement, Within the framework of national interests,” explained Rouhani.

Trump had already indicated he would pull the U.S. out of the agreement all-together if the Congress punts it back to him. It’s a move that critics warn could ultimately hasten a nuclear-armed Iran.