Criticized by Trump, Iran nuclear deal faces tough scrutiny in United Nations talks

Aaron Brown
September 19, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump, who must make a decision by mid-October that could undermine the agreement, repeated on Thursday his long-held view that Iran was violating "the spirit" of the deal under which Tehran got sanctions relief in return for curbing its nuclear program. But he said Monday that Iran "is fulfilling the commitments it entered into" under the deal, which took effect early previous year and offers sanctions relief in exchange for limits on Iranian nuclear programs that could be turned toward making weapons.

Iranian senior officials on Sunday warned against the US "breach" of nuclear deal reached in 2015 and called for Washington's adherence to its pertaining commitments.

"There are a lot of alternative means with which we use the agreement to advance our policies and the relationship with Iran, and that's what the conversation generally is around with the president as well", Tillerson said at the time.

"Iran also expects the European Union to send this strong message to the U.S. administration", Rouhani said during a meeting with the visiting president of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium, Siegfried Baracke.

Trump is seeking to take a more aggressive approach, according to administration officials.

Human rights activist Heshmat Alavi wrote a piece for Al Arabiya in which he explained that the new policy on Iran, which is apparently nearing completion, does not focus on one issue (i.e. the nuclear deal) but encapsulates all the threats that Iran poses including its support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah, ballistic missiles programme, human rights abuses, and meddling in other Middle Eastern states.

Khamenei - who is Iran's most powerful political and religious figure - is, like many conservatives, thought to be sceptical about the nuclear deal.

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"The Islamic Republic does not have any undeclared nuclear activities in any part of its geographical areas", said Shamkhani, stressing that this has been proved in inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is tasked with monitoring the technical aspect of the JCPOA's implementation. Its quarterly reports have all verified Iran's compliance.

Nauert added that the move "should not be seen as an indication of President Trump or his administration's position on the [nuclear deal], nor is the waiver giving the Iranian regime a pass on its broad range of malign behavior".

Next month, Trump is slated to decide whether Iran has breached the deal.

The postmodern European states, with their highly sophisticated system of governance and codified self-enforced rules of behavior, would likely look at the U.S as a weird state whose leaders genuinely believe that their domestic law easily preempts worldwide law, and are not shy to present this position as a legitimate justification to exit or torpedo global agreements.

If he does not, Congress has 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions waived under the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Pressure on Iran's economic recovery, in a post-nuclear sanctions world, will likely be driven by continued compliance.

Speaking to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, a senior Iranian source dismissed the idea of Tillerson's State Department having requested the September 20 session, saying, "The meeting was initially requested by Iran to address its grievances about USA violations".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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