President Donald Trump has twice certified Iran’s compliance with the international nuclear arms agreement put in place by the Obama administration, but the last time may have been the LAST time. Trump, according to reports, has been pressured into recertifying the deal by factions in the State Department and his Secretary of Defense, James Mattis. But, in conjunction with an admission by international inspectors that they cannot gain access to certain Iranian sites, Trump is expected to break with those elements in his administration and finally refuse to certify Iran’s compliance by October 15.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, multiple U.S. officials say that Trump is done with the deal and “frustrated with Iran’s continued tests of ballistic missile technology and rogue operations targeting U.S. forces in the region.” While experts insist that Iran is not in material breach of the agreement, President Trump feels that they are well outside the spirit of the deal. For that reason, he is willing to pass the buck to Congress, where Republicans and pro-Israel Democrats may be eager to reimpose economic sanctions that were withdrawn under Obama.
From the Free Beacon:
Designating Iran as in non-compliance with the deal would loosen restrictions on how the United States can target Tehran and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, which has been the main entity behind Iran’s military operations in Syria and elsewhere in the region. It also would allow the administration to save face in the short-term by not technically walking away from the agreement.
The final nail in the coffin, these sources said, was the recent admission by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, that it cannot fully assess whether Iran is working on sensitive nuclear explosive technology due to restrictions on inspections and specific sites in the Islamic Republic.
Sen. Ted Cruz spoke to the Free Beacon about the administration’s decision, telling them that it is the only reasonable option left on the president’s desk.
“The IAEA’s admission that they are unable to verify a fundamental provision under the nuclear deal—that the Iranians are not engaging in activities or using equipment to develop a nuclear explosive device—is highly alarming. In these circumstances, issuing a compliance certification would be serious mistake,” Cruz said.
Trump’s decision to de-certify the agreement would not automatically invalidate the entire deal, but it would give Congress the chance to do everything but rip it to shreds. It also opens up the possibility of Iran backing out of the agreement, kicking out the inspectors, and going back to work on their nuclear program – now billions of dollars richer thanks to President Obama. This has the potential to get messy, but that potential was there from the moment the ink was dry on this historic mistake of a deal.