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13 October 2017, 12:30 | Darnell Patrick
AFP Brendan Smialowski
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".
The greatest European fear was that Trump would torpedo the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), by reimposing sanctions, or calling on Congress to do so.
The president has called the Obama administration agreement the worst deal ever.
"As flawed as the deal is, I believe we must enforce the hell out of it", Representative Ed Royce, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Wednesday.
"If it was up to me, I would have had them noncompliant 180 days ago", he told the Wall Street Journal shortly after certifying the deal in July.
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 worldwide community and increase the likelihood of a wider conflict in the Middle East.
As Common Dreamsreported Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that new sanctions or any other violation of the nuclear accord would effectively kill the deal and earn the USA condemnation from "the entire world".
British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron both spoke to Trump this week to express their concerns about the potential decision not to recertify the Iran deal.
Trump, who has been sharply critical of Iran and accused Tehran of working with North Korea on lethal weapons, faces an October 15 deadline on whether to certify to Congress that Iran is compliance with the terms of the nuclear agreement. But that's something no one on Capitol Hill seems inclined to do.
Democrats are fiercely opposed to Trump's determination that Iran is not meeting its commitments and insist the agreement must remain intact to survive. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, are wary of decertification because it would constitute a "material breach" of the agreement and could destroy it. Under a new version being negotiated with Congress, he would have to endorse the deal less frequency but the United States intelligence community would have to assess whether Iran is carrying out covert activity in facilities not visited by the IAEA. In exchange, the U.S., China France, the United Kingdom and Germany would relax economic sanctions each country imposed on Iran.
The White House is seeking to extend or eliminate the expiration date for so-called "sunset" provisions, which limit the amount of uranium Iran is allowed to enrich.
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It has argued repeatedly that the trade pact is critical to USA industries such as agriculture and manufacturing. He said the likelihood of passing a deal would drop after the so-called fast-track authority expires in July.
Trump's administration, which took over a year after the nuclear agreement had come into force, has repeatedly attacked the agreement and desperately sought a pretext to scrap or weaken the deal.
"We have different options and will choose the one that serves the interests of the country and the regime", Rouhani said.
Iran has said it is open in principle to further discussions, particularly with Europe, but has said its missile programme is non-negotiable. Those against it, like the president, argue it should last longer and also ban things like Iranian missile tests and support for militants.
It's not clear whether America's European allies would go along with a renegotiation, either.
"If we withdraw from the deal now, Iran would be free today from the constraints on their program and the intrusive inspections that the JCPOA puts into place", he said.
Federica Mogherini, while talking to PBS TV channel, on Wednesday, highlighted Iran's full compliance with the 2015 deal.
Trump is CREATING A CRISIS if he decertifies.
Trump threatened during the presidential campaign to tear the pact up if he was elected.
Engel said the U.S. would lose any leverage it has with allies in the deal if it abandons the JCPOA.
But it could be hard to get both Iran and its ally, Russia, back to the table for a new round of talks.
Finally, President Trump also must send a message to his national security advisers by soundly rejecting the dumb and dumber Iran deal options they presented.
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