WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump will announce on Friday his decision on whether to certify the 2015 multilateral accord on restricting Iran’s nuclear activities, the White House said.
Trump will discuss the nuclear treaty in the course of an address on Washington’s overall strategy toward Iran, spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters on Thursday.
The president has until Oct. 15 to make a formal recommendation to Congress, taking into account both Iran’s compliance with the terms of the accord and the question of whether the agreement is in the US national interest.
Under the document Iran signed with the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, Tehran accepted limitations on its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
Trump, a long-time foe of the pact, has kept up a stream of harsh rhetoric against Iran since taking office in January.
Given that the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified Iran’s compliance with the terms, Trump’s option if he wants to decertify is to declare the agreement to be not in the US national security interest.
A decertification by Trump would open a 60-day review in the US Congress, which could decide to re-impose sanctions on Iran.
The president contends that Tehran is violating the “spirit” of the nuclear agreement by continuing to carry out tests of ballistic missiles and he accuses Iran of being a state sponsor of terrorism, even as Iranian forces battle Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
Iran is united in defense of the nuclear accord, the country’s president, Hassan Rouhani, said on Wednesday.
Tehran flatly rejects re-negotiating the pact, an idea that likewise seems to have no support among the other signatories, who have indicated that they will not re-impose sanctions on Iran regardless of what Washington does.