Obama: Trump Will Ultimately Accept Nuclear Deal

It would be unwise to cancel a deal that has the broad support of the international community
US President Barack ObamaUS President Barack Obama

Outgoing US President Barack Obama said he believes Donald Trump will finally back off from his pledge to cancel or change the July 2015 nuclear deal, amid uncertainties about the future of the historic pact that emerged after Trump's triumph in the US presidential election earlier this month.

During his election campaigns, Trump had repeatedly attacked the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name of the deal, calling it the "stupidest of all time" and vowing to tear it up.

But he later changed mind and said he would "police that contract so tough they [Iranians] don't have a chance".

In an interview with German media outlets ARD and Der Spiegel published on Friday, Obama said the deal has been successful in dismantling what he called "much of Iran's nuclear weapons-making capabilities" and has the broad support of the international community.

"It would be unwise—and, I think, ultimately the president-elect will recognize this—to do that [canceling the deal]," he said.

In the last version of Trump's views on the deal, one of his foreign policy advisers said the incoming president is going to demand changes to the historic pact.

"He will take the agreement, review it, send it to Congress, demand from the Iranians to restore few issues or change few issues," Walid Phares said on November 10, adding that the current agreement "will not be accepted by a Trump administration".

It remains to be seen whether the US can literally ride roughshod over the deal that was signed with Iran by five other world powers who have insisted on not tampering with the deal.

The deal was clinched after over two years of intense negotiations to solve a 12-year dispute, in which the US and its allies were accusing Tehran of pursuing development of nuclear weapons while Iran insisted that its nuclear work is only meant for peaceful purposes.

According to the deal, the UN, EU and US were obliged to remove their nuclear-related sanctions on Iran in exchange for temporary curbs on Iran's nuclear program.

In recent months, Tehran has repeatedly complained that the other side, particularly the US, has not let it reap the full economic benefits expected under the accord.

After Trump's victory, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran's preference is for the full implementation of the nuclear agreement, but "of course Iran's options are not limited" if the US seeks to pull out of the deal.

Iranian statesmen have said that if the US were to tear up the nuclear deal, they will burn it as they have nothing to lose. However, any attempts to undermine the deal will only trigger international anxiety, as all the parties concerned, including the International Atomic Energy Agency, have been satisfied with its outcome.

EU officials have also expressed concern over Trump's attitude toward the deal. Federica Mogherini, the top EU diplomat, said on November 13 that the deal cannot be altered by one government, as it is a multilateral agreement enshrined in UN Security Council resolutions.

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