Lawmakers React to Trump Presidency

Lawmakers React to Trump PresidencyLawmakers React to Trump Presidency

The election of Republican Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential polls earlier this week, which ended eight years of Democratic rule, drew different reactions from the members of Iran’s Parliament.

During his election campaign, Trump criticized the Iran nuclear deal, a legacy achievement of outgoing Democratic President Barack Obama, as a “disaster” and “the worst deal ever negotiated”.

Formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the pact was announced in July 2015 and put in place six months later to ease sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for time-bound curbs on its nuclear program.

Walid Phares, one of Trump’s foreign policy advisers, said the president-elect is going to demand changes to the historic pact.

“Ripping up is maybe a too strong word; he’s gonna take that agreement, it’s been done before in international context, and then review it. He will take the agreement, review it, send it to Congress, demand from the Iranians to restore few issues or change few issues, and there will be a discussion,” Phares said on BBC radio.

“It could be a tense discussion but the agreement as is right now … is not going to be accepted by a Trump administration.”

Trump won more than 270 electoral votes in the 2016 presidential vote, in an upset over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

In an interview with ICANA on Saturday, Lawmaker Mojtaba Mohebbinia compared the incoming president’s hawkish stance on the Islamic Republic to that of “reactionary Arab leaders”.

“If other countries take a stand against Trump, the JCPOA and its benefits can be protected through diplomacy. I believe that it is the Americans themselves who will be hurt the most by Trump’s hostile moves.”

The European partners in the deal are concerned that under Trump, Washington may pull out of the international pact unilaterally.

  Legal Consequences

Another parliamentarian, Kamal Dehqani, played down the chances of Trump carrying out his promise of ditching the deal.

“JCPOA is an international pact, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council and P5+1, and its violators would face legal consequences.”

P5+1 is a common acronym used to refer to the powers, namely the US, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany, that negotiated the deal with Iran.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has been prepared since well before the 2016 [US presidential] vote and even before [engaging in nuclear] negotiations to confront any violation of the action plan,” Dehqani said.

He was echoing the stance of top EU diplomat Federica Mogherini who said on Thursday the incoming US administration would lack the legal authority to scrap the accord, as it is a multilateral agreement involving five other major powers and enshrined in a UN Security Council resolution.  

“The Iranian deal, the nuclear deal, is not a bilateral agreement between the US and Iran. It’s a multilateral agreement that we have negotiated. I have a personal direct responsibility as still the chair of the Joint Commission that supervises the implementation of the agreement to guarantee that it is implemented by all sides … all sides,” Mogherini told CNN.

“And this is inframed into UN Security Council resolution, actually more than one [resolution]. So it is not a unilateral or bilateral issue. It’s a multilateral agreement in the framework of the United Nations.”

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution to endorse the historic agreement that had been announced a few days earlier.

Farideh Olad Qobad, another member of parliament, said it is hard to speculate on Trump’s actual policy on the Islamic Republic, but noted that his election as a Republican president could mark a US departure from a policy of negotiations and diplomatic solutions, pursued by the Obama administration, to one of threat and force, which is typical of the Republican agenda.

The landmark agreement was the result of about two years of talks and is widely believed to have averted a war over Tehran’s disputed nuclear issue.   


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