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US Lawmakers, European Nations Scramble to Save Iran Deal From Trump

12 October 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce on Friday a new strategy for Iran that could include a first step toward the United States exiting the agreement.

Trump is widely expected to make a speech Thursday laying out a new Iran strategy and decertifying the country's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.

The U.S. administration has faced two 90-day certification deadlines to state whether Iran is meeting the conditions needed to continue enjoying sanctions relief under the deal and has both times backed away from a showdown.

Several congressional Democrats who split with President Barack Obama to oppose the nuclear agreement with Iran are now urging President Donald Trump to uphold the worldwide accord, arguing that robust enforcement is the best way to counter Tehran's malign behavior in the Middle East.

On the other hand, some argue decertification and the possibility of USA sanctions on Iran might win support from the Europeans.

In mid-July, the Post says, a "furious" Trump argued with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and others who said while the 2015 deal, brokered by former President Barack Obama, was not flawless, it offered stability.

Johnson said the agreement - under which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions - "was the culmination of 13 years of painstaking diplomacy and has increased security, both in the region and in the UK".

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Engel said at the hearing that killing the deal would be a "grave mistake", since it is in place and backed by US allies and other powers. However, they do not believe he will go beyond that and call for Congress to reinstate nuclear sanctions that were lifted as a result of the deal.

Former Obama administration officials who played central roles in brokering the Iran nuclear agreement briefed congressional Democrats later Wednesday on the merits of the worldwide accord.

Several US officials have said Trump might this time choose not certify the accord. Instead, these officials said that Trump is more inclined to push legislators to amend the law that requires the president to certify Iran's compliance every 90 days.

Trump is expected to announce an "overall Iran strategy", including whether to decertify the global deal curbing Tehran's nuclear programme ahead of an October 15 deadline.

Trump detests the certification requirement, which forces him to sign off every three months on an accord he has called the worst deal ever negotiated by America, according to the officials.

If he chooses not to certify, Trump would be defying the opinion of some of his top advisers, European countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

US Lawmakers, European Nations Scramble to Save Iran Deal From Trump