Iran

Updated: Will Trump Decertify the Iran Deal This Week?

Thursday is a big day. Multiple sources confirm that President Trump will deliver a speech on Oct. 12 outlining his policy on Iran. As part of that speech, the President will announce that he will not certify the JCPOA (Iran nuke deal) but he will not pull out of the deal either, leaving the future of the deal in the hands of Congress.

Trump’s decision will be based on his opinion that the deal is not in the national security interests of the United States.

The Corker-Cardin bill passed because President Obama maneuvered around the Constitutional requirement for Senate approval of treaties by calling the JCPOA an “agreement”, requires the President to at least every 90 days, determine he can certify that:

  • Iran is fully implementing the agreement,
  • Iran has not committed a material breach of the agreement,
  • Iran has not taken any action that could significantly advance its nuclear weapons program, and
  • suspension of sanctions against Iran is appropriate and proportionate to measures taken by Iran with respect to terminating its illicit nuclear program and vital to U.S. national security interests.

The President’s refusal to certify the deal will open a 60-day window for Congress to re-impose sanctions on Iran. If the sanctions are re-imposed Iran will pull out and the deal will fall apart.

The beltway buzz is the Trump administration will use the two-month window and the leverage built by the lack of certification to try and negotiate a fix of the deal’s worst flaws. Indeed, there were unsubstantiated Reuters reports at the end of last week that Iran has signaled to France and Britain that it is willing to have talks about its ballistic missile program.

The biggest reason for the President’s decision not to certify may be the IAEA’s recent announcement that has been unable to verify “Section T” of the agreement, which outlines “Activities which could contribute to the design and development of a nuclear explosive device”

Per the deal those activities include:

  • Designing, developing, acquiring, or using computer models to simulate nuclear explosive devices.
  • Designing, developing, fabricating, acquiring, or using multi-point explosive detonation systems suitable for a nuclear explosive device, unless approved by the Joint Commission for non-nuclear purposes and subject to monitoring
  • Designing, developing, fabricating, acquiring, or using explosive diagnostic systems (streak cameras, framing cameras and flash x-ray cameras) suitable for the development of a nuclear explosive device, unless approved by the Joint Commission for non-nuclear purposes and subject to monitoring. 82.4.
  • Designing, developing, fabricating, acquiring, or using explosively driven neutron sources or specialized materials for explosively driven neutron sources.
  • Designing, developing, fabricating, acquiring, or using explosive diagnostic systems (streak cameras, framing cameras and flash x-ray cameras) suitable for the development of a nuclear explosive device, unless approved by the Joint Commission for non-nuclear purposes and subject to monitoring.
  • Designing, developing, fabricating, acquiring, or using explosively driven neutron sources or specialized materials for explosively driven neutron sources.
  • Designing, developing, fabricating, acquiring, or using explosively driven neutron sources or specialized materials for explosively driven neutron sources.

And the reason that the items in “Section T” cannot be verified is something many of us already knew, but team Obama and Ben Rhodes lied about; the Iranians won’t let the IAEA into military sites where the above work would be happening…

 

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