Friday, 22 September, 2017

USA extends some Iran sanctions relief under nuclear deal

Iran Nuclear Deal Critics Push Plan for ‘Global Economic Embargo Iran to IAEA: No, You May Not Visit Our Military Sites
Howard Terry | 15 September, 2017, 00:09

However, it is still unclear whether then USA will extend the deal. "About time for U.S.to stop spinning and begin complying, just like Iran".

The nuclear sanctions waivers are America's part of the deal's central bargain.

Sources familiar with the matter stressed that the wider US policy toward Iran, and whether to preserve the deal that gave Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for curbing its nuclear program, has yet to be decided.

In a speech last week, USA ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley laid out how and why the administration might decertify the agreement, citing Iran's other malign activities, such as support for terrorism. If he doesn't, it would be a U.S. violation of a pact he's repeatedly lambasted as the worst ever negotiated. They zeroed in on one section - Section T in Annex 1 - that deals with verifying that Iran hasn't acquired "dual use" technology that could serve either a peaceful nuclear goal or weapons development. And Trump's former White House strategist Steve Bannon, a critic of the deal, said over the weekend that he would not count on Trump certifying. That is, when the Obama administration signed the deal, Congress required him to say every three months whether he believed Iran was in compliance.

Shortly before the JCPOA was finalized, President Obama in April 2015 said Iran had "agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history".

Iran, the European Union, Germany and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council including the United States signed the nuclear deal in July 2015.

Saying that Iran is violating "the spirit" of the agreement, Trump said, "We are not going to stand for what they are doing".

With a broader Iran policy review under way in the administration, the consensus among Tillerson and other officials is to view the nuclear deal as one part of a broader strategy to counter Iran's destabilizing actions in the Middle East, including its program to develop ballistic missiles, its sponsorship of terrorist groups and its support for Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria.

People familiar with internal discussions said Haley's team didn't work out her speech with Tillerson and his team in advance.

The US official said he thought that the administration is leaning toward certifying Iran's compliance with the JCPOA to Congress next month, but he cautioned that could change.

European allies are making the case to Trump administration officials that they should keep the JCPOA, and work with them to explore options to try to address other aspects of the Iranian threat.

"You can't achieve 125 percent of this deal with 80 percent - or 90 percent even - of the leverage we had before, so you would have to bring other things to the table, not just pressure. This is Israel's position", Netanyahu said from Argentina, where he is on a Latin American swing before making his way to NY for the world body's confab.

For more than a decade before the JCPOA was concluded, Iran refused to allow the IAEA access to sites including one at Parchin, an installation near Tehran where the agency suspected the Iranians had tested high explosive components for a nuclear weapon.

But first Trump must decide to extend sanctions relief to Iran under a separate clock. But he stopped short of saying whether he will refuse to recertify the agreement.

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