US Statesmen Urge Trump to Uphold JCPOA

US Statesmen Urge Trump to Uphold JCPOA

A statement from four dozen former and current US officials warned that US President Donald Trump's potential withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord could deal "grave" setbacks to American national interests and international image.
"No American national security objective would be served by withdrawing from it, as long as Iran is meeting the agreement's requirements. To the contrary, given continuing assurance by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran is in compliance with the agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, such a unilateral act would have grave long-term political and security consequences for the United States," said the letter published by the National Interest website on Tuesday.
Under the action plan, Tehran got relief from international sanctions in exchange for curbing its nuclear program.
The Trump administration has adopted a tough policy on Iran since it came to office in January and seeks to police the deal more strictly.
Trump has failed to follow through an electoral pledge to tear up the landmark agreement. His administration is working to fix what Trump aides have called "serious flaws" in the landmark deal that they say—if not resolved quickly—will likely lead Trump to pull out.
Trump begrudgingly agreed to reaffirm Tehran's adherence to the pact in July, as is required every 90 days, at the urging of his top Cabinet members.
He appears eager to declare Tehran in violation when the next review comes up in October.
A broader White House review of Iran policy is also in progress. It is expected to conclude in August.
Given IAEA's verification of Iran's commitments, the US withdrawal from the pact could expose it to "noncompliance" accusations for what would be deemed an "unjustified" reinstatement of sanctions, the letter said.
"Reports indicate that President Donald Trump may refuse to certify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA in October, which could lead to restoring [the] sanctions ... Doing so would bring the United States—rather than Iran—into noncompliance with the agreement," the letter declared.

***Call for Comprehensive Policy

The officials recommend instead a "comprehensive" policy on Iran to curb its regional clout and promote US interests in the strategic region.
They asked Trump to "establish a regular channel of communication at a senior level with Iran that would enable the United States to express its concerns directly to Iran's leaders".
The letter warned about possible backlash from the US European allies and other signatories to the deal, namely Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, that have rejected Trump's antagonistic stance.
"Europe, China and Russia could decide to continue observing the JCPOA, should Iran continue to comply with its commitments restricting its nuclear program," it said.
It noted that the resultant weakening of the bond between the US and its European partners could embolden US rivals.
"A clear break between the United States and Europe over the sanctions issues would allow Russia and China to move closer to achieving their longstanding goal of dividing the West," the letter added.
"The US rejection of the JCPOA could prompt Iran to restore its pre-deal enrichment program at full strength and under far weaker international monitoring, which in turn would heighten the risk of a military confrontation."

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