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Trump to Unveil Broad Strategy to Confront Iran

Trump to Unveil Iran Strategy Soon Trump to Unveil Iran Strategy Soon

US President Donald Trump will announce responses to Iran's missile tests, alleged support for "terrorism" and cyber operations as part of his new Iran strategy, the White House said on Friday.

"The president isn't looking at one piece of this. He's looking at all of the bad behavior of Iran," claimed Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, according to Reuters.

Sanders then referred to the "illicit nuclear program" as Iran's unacceptable behavior. This shows the frenzied manner in which the US administration is questioning the authority of the International Atomic Energy Agency—the sole body responsible for monitoring Iran's nuclear program.

The UN agency has repeatedly verified the civilian nature of the program by stating that Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal reached with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and the European Union.

The Trump administration had also acknowledged that Iran has not breached the accord, but Sanders claimed he "wants to look for a broad strategy that addresses all of those problems".

"That's what his team is focused on and that's what he'll be rolling out to address that as a whole in the coming days," she said. A senior US administration official also told Reuters on Thursday that Trump was expected to announce he will decertify the landmark international deal curbing Iran's nuclear program, in a step that his administration believes could cause the accord to unravel. This is where a big surprise awaits Trump, as his European partners and many in the US Congress do not buy his blustery rhetoric.

  Targeted Sanctions

Another US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Friday that steps Trump is reviewing as part of a broader strategy also include imposing targeted sanctions in response to Iran's ballistic missile tests, alleged cyber espionage and backing for Lebanese Hezbollah and other Mideast resistance groups on the US list of foreign terrorist organizations.

The US administration earlier this year considered, but then put on hold, adding the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps to the US list of foreign terrorist organizations.

The Qods Force, the IRGC's foreign wing, and individuals and entities associated with IRGC are on the list, but the organization as a whole is not.

Last month, current and former US officials told Reuters the broader strategy Trump is weighing is expected to allow more aggressive US actions to counter what the administration views as Iran's efforts to boost its military muscle and expand its regional influence through proxy forces.

Under a 2015 US law, Trump has until Oct. 15 to certify to Congress that Iran is complying with the nuclear pact. If he decides to decertify, lawmakers would have 60 days in which to consider reimposing US sanctions on Iran lifted under the deal.

Knowledgeable sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said the administration is looking for ways to fix what it views as serious flaws without necessarily killing the deal.

However, neither Iran nor the other signatories share Trump's zeal to renegotiate the nuclear deal that was reached after arduous negotiations lasting over two years.

 

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