IranInsight|Showcasing a Multifaceted Iran

As President, Donald Trump has always had the power to blow up the Iran nuclear deal for any reason or no reason at all.

On Friday, he sought to foist that responsibility on the US Congress but the decision ultimately remains with him.

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Tension is building in Washington and Tehran as the date for re-certifying Iran as compliant with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nears.

Certification of the agreement every 90 days by the American administration is not part of the JCPOA. Rather, it was imposed on the Obama administration by the Republican-led Congress, which passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) in 2015 to increase leverage on Iran to stick to the deal’s requirements. President Trump certified Iranian compliance twice, but he appears reluctant to do so again by an Oct. 15 deadline.

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As President Trump weighs whether to re-certify Iranian compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), one of the major arguments used by opponents of the deal is that Iran has continued to test ballistic missiles.

The US views those missile tests as provocative, and while technically not a breach of JCPOA, they come in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 which “calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons…”

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This September was an important month for President Donald Trump. It was the first time he stood in front of the UN General Assembly and talked directly to such a large gathering of world leaders and senior foreign officials. He started by bragging about the big changes he has brought to the US but moved swiftly – and aggressively -- outside US borders.

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An understated consequence of the July 2015 Iran nuclear deal was that it represented conflict resolution through a multilateral framework and a step away from forceful US unilateralism. Washington, it seemed, had turned its back on the days of the George W. Bush administration’s seeming indifference to the interests and concerns of other global powers, exemplified most saliently by its military interventions in the Middle East.

 

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Appearing at a Washington think tank on Tuesday, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley laid out what appeared to be a rationale for the Trump administration to walk away from the Iran nuclear deal next month.

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As Iran’s economy began recovering with the lifting of international sanctions, Akbar Torkan, a top advisor to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, stated in December 2016, “Iran’s wealth and national interests were plundered by a bunch of marauders from Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E, Qatar, China and India.”

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In a featured article entitled “Why we have enemies” in the July 7 issue of the weekly Sobhe Sadeq, Brig. Gen. Yadollah Javani expounded the deep state view that there is an inherent, irreconcilable antagonism between Iran and its enemies.

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Six months into his administration, Donald Trump appears increasingly determined to start implementing his campaign promise of “dismantling the disastrous deal with Iran.”

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met on July 24 with the top brass of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), reportedly seeking to end a spate of disagreements that have been aired in public since Rouhani’s re-election.

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