US Senators Seeking to Sabotage Nuclear Agreement

Bob CorkerBob Corker

Only two years ago, six world powers, including Washington and Moscow, ratified a historic treaty guaranteeing that Iran’s nuclear activities will remain peaceful. Now, promises made by the US as part of the deal stand in danger of being circumvented by the administration of President Donald Trump.

Although the president cannot, as he has admitted, dismantle the multilateral treaty, he can take steps to renege on promises made by the US that are incorporated into the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed by China, Russia, France, Germany, the UK, the US and the European Union, to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, Sputnik wrote in an article on Monday. A group of US senators is now seeking to undermine the landmark deal.

Tehran has been observed to date as honoring its end of the bargain, quickly spiriting disputed materials out of the country and shutting down or converting some of its nuclear facilities.

Managing a delicate balancing act, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, has juggled the anger of staunch critics against calls by more reasonable constituents seeking an end to sanctions that have had a crippling economic effect.

But the group of US senators, noting that Saudi Arabia has chosen to purchase US weapons instead of Russian arms, and echoing claims by Riyadh that its arch-rival Tehran is actively supporting terrorism, is seeking to find ways to encourage Trump to renew the sanctions against Iran that are set to expire under the 2015 accord.

The charge is being led by Senator Bob Corker, who on March 23 introduced a bill titled “Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act” to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. As of last Tuesday, it had 25 co-sponsors, of which 11 were Democrats. The National Iranian American Council was quick to decry the bill, asserting that it would “place President Trump’s trigger-happy finger on the ignition switch of a deadly conflict with Iran.”

Cooler heads may yet prevail, however. During his confirmation hearing, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis was reported to have expressed his support for the treaty.

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini stressed that during a recent meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the latter had promised that Washington would adhere to the agreement.


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