Trump’s JCPOA Ultimatum a Baseless Bluff

Trump’s JCPOA Ultimatum a Baseless BluffTrump’s JCPOA Ultimatum a Baseless Bluff

An analyst dismissed US President Donald Trump’s renewed threat to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal if alleged shortcomings therein are not fixed as a political bluff that lacks legal standing.

Trump gave Washington’s European allies a 120-day ultimatum to come up with a new deal addressing his Iran-related concerns or the US will pull out of the 2015 nuclear agreement, in a much-anticipated announcement on Friday that left the landmark nuclear accord intact for now.

“From a legal standpoint, Trump’s threat is a bluff. International law does not allow for such an issue to be raised by a country’s president. Such remarks are political rhetoric and have no legal basis,” Ali Khorram said in an interview with ISNA on Sunday.

Trump said he is waiving nuclear sanctions against Iran for the last time and warned, “Either fix the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw.”

He said in the statement he is open to working with the US Congress on bipartisan legislation regarding Iran, but laid out four conditions for agreeing to such a bill.


“First, it must demand that Iran allow immediate inspections at all sites requested by international inspectors. Second, it must ensure that Iran never even comes close to possessing a nuclear weapon,” Trump said.

“Third, unlike the nuclear deal, these provisions must have no expiration date. My policy is to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon—not just for ten years, but forever. If Iran does not comply with any of these provisions, American nuclear sanctions would automatically resume. Fourth, the legislation must explicitly state in United States law—for the first time— that long-range missile and nuclear weapons programs are inseparable, and that Iran’s development and testing of missiles should be subject to severe sanctions,” the hawkish Republican added.

Tehran has always denied there is a military aspect to its nuclear activities.

Under the historic agreement with six nations, Iran agreed to temporary constraints on its nuclear work for at least 10 years in exchange for the removal of economic sanctions.

The Friday announcement marked the third time Trump has given a reprieve to the agreement negotiated by the Obama administration, despite his repeated threats of withdrawal each time. He declined to certify Tehran’s compliance with the deal in October, despite doing so twice before, giving congress and European allies a three-month deadline to address the “deal’s many serious flaws”.

Trump’s demand faced a rebuff with congressional leaders letting that deadline pass last month without any action.

  Provocative Policy

Khorram said Trump’s move is part of a provocative policy aimed at pushing the Islamic Republic toward breaching the international accord, officially referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“Legally speaking, Trump cannot scuttle the nuclear agreement unilaterally and such a move would have heavy consequences for the United States. Trump is keen to see Iran get carried away and violate the JCPOA so the US can use it to its own advantage.”

Other signatories have opposed Trump’s harsh line toward the UN-buttressed agreement, citing the reports of the UN nuclear agency that have all verified Iran’s full commitment to the deal terms.

Trump took office on a platform to dismantle the nuclear pact and counter Iran’s clout in the Middle East and his aides have openly acknowledged to be actively pursuing a policy of regime change in Iran.

He was outspoken in his support of the week-long demonstrations that erupted in late December in a dozen of Iranian cities to protest the government’s poor economic performance.

The marches turned violent hours after their eruption, leaving 25 protestors and security forces dead and dozens more injured.

An emergency UN Security Council meeting called by the US earlier this month to demand punitive action against alleged crackdown of the protests by the Islamic Republic turned into criticism of the United States for requesting to meet on what other member states said was an internal issue for Tehran.

Highlighting the failure of the US hostile Iran policy, Khorram said, “The US president tried to have a resolution passed against Iran in the Security Council to impose fresh sanctions, but no resolution was even brought up for discussion.”


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