US Expert: Trump Destroying American Credibility in IAEA

US Expert: Trump Destroying American Credibility in IAEAUS Expert: Trump Destroying American Credibility in IAEA

A former US diplomat said US President Donald Trump's push for finding evidence to back up the claim that Iran is in breach of the 2015 nuclear deal is eroding the remaining US credibility in the International Atomic Energy Agency, which took a heavy blow in 2003 when the US provided IAEA with phony evidence to justify launching the Iraq war.

Richard Nephew, the lead sanctions expert on the US team that negotiated the 2015 pact with Iran, wrote the statement on Twitter on Thursday.

Trump seems hell-bent on ditching the nuclear agreement, which he has frequently hammered as a "disaster", and is currently seeking ways to pull out of the deal, a stance at odds with that of the other signatories to the accord, including US allies in Europe.

The US president has said he expects to declare Iran in non-compliance with the pact by mid-October, the deadline for the next quarterly certification of Tehran's adherence by the US administration to Congress.

Last Monday, the Guardian reported that the White House is pressing intelligence officials to put forward a justifiable option for Trump to declare Iran in breach of the deal.

The pressure rekindled the memories of the pre-Iraq war era, when the US provided fake intelligence evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to convince the world of the need to invade Iraq.

  Squandering Hard-Earned Gains  

Nephew also wrote that Trump is simply wasting hard-earned US gains of the past 15 years, in which he had been involved, to repair its reputation with the IAEA on nuclear intelligence.

"Restoring credibility and trust on these matters took time, consistent accuracy and humility. To see it all go to hell and for no good reason is upsetting but, worse, it is dangerous," he said.

"There will be more proliferation threats in the future. We will want and need our credibility to press our case in dealing with these threats."

The nuclear deal settled a 12-year-long dispute between Iran and western powers who accused it of seeking nukes.

Iran insisted its nuclear work has solely been aimed at peaceful applications, and its assertion was verified by numerous inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog of its nuclear sites and even military ones.

The Trump administration has been pushing the IAEA, which is scrutinizing Iran's compliance with the 2015 agreement, to check more military sites of Iran and not just nuclear installations to verify that it is not breaching the deal.

But IAEA has apparently ruled out the request, with its officials telling Reuters this week that Washington has not provided evidence to back up its pressure on IAEA to make requests to access Iranian military sites.

The UN nuclear agency reaffirmed in a report on Thursday once again that Iran has remained within key limits on its nuclear work under the deal that lifted international sanctions on Tehran.


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