Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Trump drops campaign promise, pledges to enforce ‘Iran Deal’

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By Vahid Jafarian, Edirotial Board Member

U.S. President Donald Trump committed on Sunday to enforcing the Iranian nuclear deal, despite his campaign pledge to dismantle the landmark accord that he has repeatedly called “disastrous” and “one of the dumbest deals” he’s ever seen.

In a phone call with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abd Al-Aziz Al Saud, the president pledged to “rigorously enforce the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA ),” referring to the deal’s formal name,  the White House said in a statement.

During the election campaign, Trump criticized the nuclear pact reached in July 2015 among Tehran and six great powers – the United States, China, France, the United Kingdom, Russia and Germany – calling it a “disaster.”

However, the US statement about Iran suggests that the president may be giving in to requests by virtually all supporters – and many critics – of the pact not to discard it.

Neither Russia, nor China, nor the three European countries concerned have agreed to abrogating the agreement without sufficient reasons.

Even the US’ Persian Gulf allies, who are deeply suspicious of Iran, backed the deal in 2015 and likely to resist any attempts by Trump to change course.

Although Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly opposed the agreement, military chief Lieutenant-General Gadi Eisenkot and other members of the Israeli security establishment have expressed their support .

Netanyahu said last month that there were many ways of “undoing” the Iran nuclear deal and that he would discuss that with Trump.

But before he left office, former president Barack Obama warned against rowing back the pact, emphasizing its “significant and concrete results.”

Moreover, there has been strong support for the deal and over three dozen top American scientists, including Nobel laureates, veteran nuclear weapon scientists, former White House science advisers and head of the world’s largest general society of scientists, wrote to the new President last week, urging him to “preserve this critical US strategic asset”.

Trump’s new pledge to ‘rigorously’ enforce the landmark deal comes as Iran has fulfilled its commitments under the JCPOA . Since January 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified six times that Iran has fulfilled its JCPOA obligations.

However, Iran’s Supreme Leader and other Iranian officials have complained that the United States has not lived up its commitments under the Iran deal in relation to lifting of nuclear-related sanctions.

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