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Trump to announce Iran nuke deal decision 'very shortly'

Trump to announce Iran nuke deal decision 'very shortly'

Officials familiar with the internal deliberations as well as informed sources outside the administration say they expect Mr Trump to tell lawmakers that the Iran deal is not in the United States national security interest despite Iran's technical compliance.

Recently Tehran and other signatories to the JCPOA, the five permanent member countries of United Nations Security Council and Germany have joined voices in support of the landmark deal and warned Washington against repercussions of walking way form the multilateral deal. Under the deal, which started being implemented in January 2016, Iran undertakes to limit its nuclear activities and allow transparent worldwide control of its nuclear program.

Will the deal be broken if Trump decertifies it? There was always the chance he could still have a last-minute change of heart and certify Iran's compliance with the 2015 accord, which he has called an "embarrassment" and the "worst deal ever negotiated".

"As flawed as the deal is, I believe we must now enforce the hell out of it", said the California lawmaker.

In exchange, UN, US and European Union sanctions were to be gradually removed from Iran.

On Friday, Trump is expected to unveil a broad strategy for Iran, including announcing that he will decertify the agreement ahead of an October 15 deadline, although he could always change his mind.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a key player in the Iran debate, has suggested changing the Iran Review Act he co-authored to eliminate the requirement that Trump recertify Iran's compliance with the deal every 90 days, several congressional sources said.

European allies have complained that the White House has not presented a plan on how to push back Iranian influence, particularly in Syria, where the Trump administration has insisted it did not want to get involved in the civil war, preferring to focus exclusively on fighting the Islamic State.

If Trump decertifies the agreement, Congress will have 60 days in which it can reimpose economic sanctions on Iran. He also wants to toughen language on ballistic missiles and inspections.

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Federica Mogherini, while talking to PBS TV channel, on Wednesday, highlighted Iran's full compliance with the 2015 deal.

But Iranian officials have already ruled out any renegotiation of the deal.

Drafts of two proposals seen by The Associated Press, one from Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker and one from committee member and harsh deal critic Senator Tom Cotton, would expand the United States certification criteria to include items that are also the province of the UN nuclear watchdog and require the USA intelligence community to determine if Iran is carrying out illicit activity in facilities to which the International Atomic Energy Agency does not have access.

Even so, some experts told CNBC that decertification will undermine the worldwide deal and encourage hardliners in Tehran to push for nuclear weapons.

The official said Trump has been telling foreign leaders and USA lawmakers that his refusal to certify the Iran deal would not blow it up.

First, Congress could vote to snap sanctions back into place, or Trump could refuse to sign the next round of waivers for sanctions.

If the USA chose to reimpose nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, it would be in breach of the JCPOA. But again, none of that is likely since the USA would be essentially tearing up the agreement and taking the blame for whatever comes next.

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.


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