President Donald Trump could nix the Iran nuclear deal in January, and analysts believe he might do it, according to Politico.
Why is this happening?
New legal deadlines coming up in January require the president to certify that Tehran is meeting its obligations under the agreement.
International inspectors have said Iran is meeting its requirements. But in October, Trump refused to certify the country’s compliance. He cited Iranian aggression in the Middle East as one reason, Politico reported. That triggered a 60-day deadline for Congress to restore sanctions “by a simple majority, without the possibility of a Senate filibuster.”
But Congress was busy working on tax reform and took no action.
In October, Trump called the Iran agreement, “the worst deal ever.” He has also called on Congress and European countries to make the deal more favorable for the U.S., according to Politico.
If a solution is not reached with Congress and U.S. allies, “then the agreement will be terminated,” Trump said in an Oct. 13 speech.
Since then, little progress has been made, according to reports.
“It’s entirely possible that Trump tells Congress and the Europeans, ‘I gave you 90 days to get your act together and you didn’t — and I’m done,’” Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Politico.
Lawmakers are discussing the possibility of extending the deal, but it is not clear if Republicans and Democrats can agree on it, according to the outlet.
What is the background?
The Iran nuclear deal is called the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.” It represents a historic agreement reached in 2015 among Iran, the U.S., and several world powers.
The deal, made under the Obama administration, was designed in part to reduce Iran’s ability to produce plutonium and uranium, which are used in making nuclear weapons, Fox News reported. It also eliminated “crippling economic sanctions” on Iran.
Every 90 days, Congress is required to certify that Iran is complying with the deal.
What do supporters and critics say?
Supporters of the deal believe military action was the only way to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Critics, on the other hand, say a sunset clause in the deal could ease over time restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, according to Fox News.