Trump’s Ability to Ditch Iran Nuclear Deal in Doubt

Trump’s Ability to Ditch Iran Nuclear Deal in Doubt Trump’s Ability to Ditch Iran Nuclear Deal in Doubt

Although the administration of US President Donald Trump admitted on Tuesday that Iran is complying with the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement and extended sanctions relief given to Tehran, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson leveled criticism at Iran on Wednesday, dubbing the deal a "failed approach".

Tillerson emphasized that the US is going to carry out a "comprehensive review" of its policy toward Iran, which he claimed is about to follow in North Korea's footsteps.

"The Trump administration is currently conducting across the entire government a review of our Iran policy … An unchecked Iran has the potential to follow the same path as North Korea and take the world along with it. The United States is keen to avoid a second piece of evidence that strategic patience is a failed approach," Tillerson was quoted as saying by CNBC.

As if that were not enough, Tillerson continues to insist that Iran is sponsoring terrorism without having a shred of evidence.

Previously, the Trump Cabinet signaled that it is determined to find out whether the Iranian nuclear deal really reflects US national security interests.

"President Donald Trump has directed a National Security Council-led interagency review of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [the nuclear deal] that will evaluate whether suspension of sanctions related to Iran pursuant to JCPOA is vital to the national security interests of the United States," Tillerson said in a letter to Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan.

Speaking to Sputnik, Hamed Mousavi, a professor at the Department of Political Sciences of the University of Tehran, stressed that Iran's nuclear agreement is an international deal.

  JCPOA's Multilateral Nature

"One should pay attention to a few points, particularly the multilateral nature of the obligations under JCPOA. The US should not forget that a nuclear deal is not a bilateral agreement between [Washington] and Iran. The United States cannot unilaterally abolish the international agreement signed by Iran and several other countries and which was approved by the UN Security Council. This is contrary to international law," Mousavi emphasized.

Grigory Yarygin, associate professor at the Department of American Studies of the School of International Relations at St. Petersburg State University, echoed Mousavi.

"This nuclear deal was concluded not only between Tehran and Washington, but it is Iran's deal with six international mediators. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the attempt to cancel this deal will succeed," Yarygin told Sputnik.

"We must understand that at the international level, significant efforts were made … to ease tensions between Iran and the United States and prevent possible tragic consequences related to the [Iranian] nuclear program."

Hamid Gholamzadeh, an expert on North America, suggested in an interview with Sputnik that Washington is looking for an excuse to undermine the deal.

"The US has recognized that Iran is fulfilling its obligations. But this did not convince them. Therefore, the US is looking for new pretexts, which they want to prove using the relevant documents. Despite the reaffirmation of Iran's commitment to its obligations, the US accused it of supporting terrorism in order to obtain a justification [for imposing sanctions]," Gholamzadeh said.

"I believe that the US will play out its own scenario. They will try to reimpose the sanctions, unless Europe, Russia and China, as the main negotiators, try to prevent these plans."

The question then arises as to why the new administration is pushing ahead with its plan to undermine the Iran nuclear deal.

Robbie Gramer of Foreign Policy magazine believes that Trump is seeking to restore US-Saudi relations, which were negatively affected by the deal struck under Obama.

Gramer called attention to the fact that on Tuesday, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis visited Riyadh to discuss Pentagon's support for the Saudi-led campaign against Yemen.

On Wednesday, Tillerson addressed the US-Saudi business summit in Washington, "touting bilateral business ties as a way for the two countries' relations to be taken to new heights".

"The joint appearances by Mattis and Tillerson showcase a warming of US-Saudi relations under Trump after eight years of tension with former president Barack Obama's administration," Gramer said, stressing that one of the biggest points of contention between Washington and Riyadh in recent years was the Iran nuclear deal.

However, it is still unclear how Trump is going to appease Riyadh and deliver on his election promise to tear up the nuclear accord.


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