Iran Not Trump’s Priority for Now

Iran Not Trump’s Priority for NowIran Not Trump’s Priority for Now

A lawmaker said the extension of US sanctions relief for Iran by US President Donald Trump indicates that conflict and confrontation with Iran is not on his priority list “for now”, although new tensions over the July 2015 nuclear deal is likely in the months ahead.

Mohammad Javad Jamali, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, made the statement in a talk with ICANA on Sunday.

Trump, who took office in January, has strongly condemned  the accord between Iran and world powers, including the US, which removed international sanctions on Iran in return for temporary curbs on its nuclear work.

The controversial president during his election campaign branded the agreement as “the worst deal ever negotiated” and promised to undo it.

However, he later made other contradictory statements, including that he would “renegotiate” the deal or “police that contract so tough they [Iranians] don’t have a chance,” rendering ambiguous his final stance on the deal.  

Trump issued waivers of Iran nuclear-related sanctions last Wednesday, before a Friday deadline for deciding whether to renew the 120-day waivers.

Jamali said there were speculations that Trump would not renew sanction waivers, taking his first step to unravel the historic nuclear deal.

  Shifting Positions

“Trump has changed his position, and this change is not limited to Iran. We saw him threatening war with North Korea, but he now has backed off.”

The MP, however, believed a dispute over the nuclear program seems increasingly probable, as the US is carrying out a review of the pact that may lead to calls for renegotiating the deal.

“Not in any way would Tehran succumb to [pressure] for a renegotiating the JCPOA,” he said, using the formal name of the deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.  Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, in a letter to US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan last month, acknowledged that Iran was complying with the nuclear curbs.

But he said Washington was launching a comprehensive review of the pact to determine whether the lifting of sanctions against Iran was in the US national security interests. The deal removed nuclear-related sanctions imposed by the US on Iran, but the remaining bans, which it has been strictly enforcing and widening after the deal came into effect in January 2016, has hampered Iran’s trade and banking ties with foreign countries.

The US Congress is working on new legislation that could lead to new restrictions on Iran’s regional activities.


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