Friday, October 13, 2017

Eye on Iran: Trump Expected Not to Certify Iran Compliance With Nuclear Pact

View our videos on YouTube


President Donald Trump is expected to announce on Friday that he won't certify Iran is complying with the 2015 multinational nuclear agreement and will take Tehran to task more broadly for practices ranging from missile tests to support of violent groups, U.S. officials said. The refusal to certify Iran's compliance doesn't mean the U.S. will pull out of the deal, the officials added, and Mr. Trump isn't expected to ask Congress to re-impose economic sanctions that had been lifted as part of the agreement. But it could send the White House down a road of trying to change a deal that U.S. allies still support.

President Donald Trump plans to deliver a broad and harsh critique of Iran in a speech Friday declaring that the landmark Iran nuclear deal is not in America's national security interests, according to U.S. officials and outside advisers to the administration. Trump's speech from the White House will outline specific faults he finds in the 2015 accord but will also focus on an array of Iran's troubling non-nuclear activities, four officials and advisers said. Those include Tehran's ballistic missile program, support for Syrian President Bashar Assad, Lebanon's Hezbollah movement and other groups that destabilize the region.

In the 21 months since a landmark nuclear agreement freed Iran's economy from crippling economic sanctions, investors eager to tap the country's energy reserves and its 80 million consumers have waited for signs it was safe to enter the market in full force. Donald Trump is about to signal that they should keep waiting. The U.S. president is poised to announce on Friday that the multinational deal that eased sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear program isn't sufficiently beneficial to the U.S. That will heighten the uncertainty for businesses such as Boeing Co., Airbus SE and General Electric Co. that have ventured into Iran and for others that were already hesitating. 


President Trump will make good on Friday on a long-running threat to disavow the Iran nuclear deal that was negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama. But he will stop short, for now, of unraveling the accord or even rewriting it, as the deal's defenders had once feared. In a speech on Friday afternoon, Mr. Trump will declare his intention not to certify Iran's compliance with the agreement. Doing so essentially kicks to Congress a decision about whether to reimpose sanctions on Iran, which would blow up the agreement.

Donald Trump is expected to disavow the Iran nuclear deal in a speech on Friday denouncing the government in Tehran, but he will not call for the US to abandon the agreement, according to officials briefed on the president's intentions. European officials expressed relief that the White House speech did not appear to represent a US abrogation of the 2015 deal. Since Trump signaled in recent months that he did not want to constantly certify to Congress a deal which he detested, European diplomats have been lobbying intensively in Washington to stop the US walking out of the accord entirely.  "Of all the places it could have been on the spectrum, this is very much at the better end," one European official said. 

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has spoken with senior officials of Britain, China, France and Russia in recent days to discuss President Donald Trump's planned announcement on Iran on Friday, the State Department said without giving details. "I would describe them as listening calls, consulting calls and having conversations about the overall rollout, if you will, of the plan ... which the president will announce tomorrow," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters...

President Donald Trump will lay out a more confrontational strategy toward Iran by the United States on Friday in a speech in which he is likely to strike a blow at an international Iran nuclear deal, complicating U.S. relations with European allies.

President Trump hasn't been shy expressing his distaste for the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under his predecessor. He has called the 2015 agreement disastrous, horrible, and one-sided, and he has vowed to get rid of it or renegotiate the terms. Trump has already given his approval twice to preserve the agreement, albeit grudgingly. But now, he is poised to go a step further, potentially setting it on the path to oblivion. Trump must decide by Sunday whether to certify again that Iran is complying with its commitments under the deal.


The head of U.S. Central Command said he was concerned about Iran's long-term activities in the region and he would continue to focus on protecting U.S. troops, even as Iran has said U.S. regional military bases would be at risk if further sanctions were passed. "Iran is kind of a long-term destabilizing actor in the region and so we remain concerned about their activities as well," U.S. General Joseph Votel told reporters.  Trump is expected to unveil a broad strategy on confronting Iran this week, likely on Friday. "Leadership will make the decisions and we will be prepared to do what we need to do to continue to protect ourselves and particularity to protect our interests in the region," Votel added.

On the eve of President Trump's decision on the certification of the Iran nuclear deal, CIA Director Michael Pompeo lashed out Thursday at the Islamic Republic in a speech at the University of Texas, calling it "a thuggish police state" and a "despotic theocracy," and comparing its ambitions to those of ISIS. The hardline speech, delivered as the keynote at a national security forum in Austin sponsored by the university, is "setting the stage" for the Trump administration's announcement on the nuclear agreement, expected Friday afternoon, said one senior U.S. intelligence official.


Politics of the Iran deal. National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster delivered a classified briefing to Republican lawmakers - and Republicans only - on the administration's plan for the 2015 agreement to halt Iran's nuclear program Wednesday night. Democrats also huddled with former Secretary of State John Kerry to talk through their response if president Trump claims Iran is not in compliance with the agreement this week, as he is expected to. 

Republicans in the U.S. Congress, long the staunchest opponents of the Iran nuclear deal, may be the best hope for preserving it if President Donald Trump declines on Friday to certify that Tehran is complying with the pact. Every Republican in Congress opposed the international accord reached under Democratic former President Barack Obama two years ago. Joined by several Democrats, they nearly passed legislation to kill the deal in which Iran agreed to curb its disputed nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.  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 U.S. credibility. They want to find other ways to clamp down on Tehran.  


What's At Stake for Boeing in the Iran Deal | NPR

When the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran was signed in 2015, Boeing was seen as one of the big winners. Most other U.S. firms are still prevented from doing business with the Islamic Republic because of remaining sanctions. But the nuclear deal gave a special nod to aircraft manufacturers like Boeing and its main competitor, Airbus. Boeing quickly signed deals with Iranian airlines for $20 billion. And the first is to be delivered next year. Now the company is in a wait-and-see situation. Gordon Johndroe is a spokesperson for Boeing.


Soon after the Shah of Iran was forced from power in 1979, a small group of the uprising's young leaders suggested the creation of a national guard, tasked with preserving the new Islamic revolution and counterbalancing the country's conventional military. Ayatollah Khomenei, the charismatic cleric who soon became the country's supreme leader, hesitated to call the members of the new force "guards", fearing the word was too close to the French word widely used to refer to the ousted monarch's elite personal force. Instead he opted for sepah, a Persian word for soldiers with historical connotations, and the new force became known asthe sepah-e-pasdaran or "army of the guardians".  Most foreign governments, however, refer to it as the Islamic revolutionary guard corps - a force that, 38 years later, has become a key player both inside Iran and across the region. Reports that the US government is poised to designate the IRGC as a terrorist group have sparked jitters in Tehran, overshadowing Donald Trump's expected plan to tear up the landmark nuclear deal.

One of the most useful maxims is to beware of the pitfalls of conventional wisdom. It is said that Iran and Al-Qaeda could not have any relationship because of the deeply entrenched Sunni/Shia difference between them. Perhaps, this divide does exist but there has been an operational relationship between the two sides, which has spanned for decades. This relationship began in early 1990's in Sudan, which developed further when Al-Qaeda was in Afghanistan and continued even after the September 11 attacks. In July 2011, the United States formally accused Iran of having direct ties with Al Qaeda which resulted in the September 11 attacks. There is strong evidence for such a cooperation which includes Iran providing sanctuary to Al Qaeda operatives and its senior leadership inside the country, in addition to allowing the supply of money, weapons and fighters to the organization through a vital logistics lifeline.


As President Donald Trump prepares to announce whether he'll certify Iran's compliance with the deal to curb its nuclear program, U.S. and European negotiators at the United Nations are on another collision course -- this time over the Islamic Republic's human rights record.


Reading through the Iranian foreign minister's article in The Atlantic this week, one is struck by paradox. It is so full of lies, distortions, and half-truths that in the end it yields one fundamental truth-it's not a set of errors, it's a methodology. The goal is to turn Iran into a regional nuclear power. The method is to make the West believe it isn't happening.

If the Persian language had a term for chutzpah, it should have been the title for Javad Zarif's recent essay in The Atlantic. Written by Iran's foreign minister and master propagandist, a man who has perfected the art of spoon-feeding credulous Westerners his spin, the article depicts an odious Iranian regime that has spread chaos and destruction throughout the Middle East as a magnanimous democratic force for regional stability. The narrative spun by the foreign minister not only contradicts the historical reality of Iran's behavior but is also at odds with the Farsi-language narratives of Iranian politicians who openly boast of the Islamic Republic's hegemonic ambitions. 


President Donald Trump is reportedly about to extend a terrorism designation to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in its entirety. The IRGC is both the dominant force inside Iran and the instrument through which the Islamic Republic projects power abroad. Operating throughout the region, the IRGC is deeply entrenched in Lebanon; the domain of Hezbollah. For years, while acknowledging that Lebanese Hezbollah is backed and "inspired" by Iran, many policymakers and analysts have treated the group as an independent actor driven by its "resistance" to Israel and one that would not fight on behalf of Syria's Bashar al Assad for fear of compromising its stature as the premier anti-Israel resistance group. The Syrian war has shown otherwise.


More than two weeks after the Sept. 25 independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran has yet to take any meaningful action against the Kurdish region despite its rhetoric, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's labeling of the plebiscite as treason and a threat to the region in his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Oct. 4... While Iranian officials, including Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, have not hidden their anger and frustration at the way the Iraqi Kurdish leadership handled the referendum, they appear to be wary of a possible US plan to change the borders of the region in favor of the Kurds.

Eye on Iran is a periodic news summary from United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Eye on Iran is not intended as a comprehensive media clips summary but rather a selection of media elements with discreet analysis in a PDA friendly format. For more information please email

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.

No comments:

Post a Comment