President Donald Trump announced on Friday that his administration will not re-certify Tehran’s compliance with the Iran nuclear deal. He announced a series of steps he has ordered, which “begins with the long overdue step of imposing tough sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard.”
In his opening remarks, the President said it is his “highest obligation is to ensure the safety and security” of Americans, which is why he ordered a “complete strategic review” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal.
Following that review, he concluded the deal negotiated by the Obama Administration was not in the best interest of the United States (US) and will lead to the “predictable conclusion” of Iran getting a nuclear weapon.
“Based on the factual record I have put forward, I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification,” President Trump said. “We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence and terror, and very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout.”
The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA), which was passed nearly unanimously by the U.S. Congress, requires the President to re-certify the Iran nuclear deal every 90 days. The decision now starts a 60-day congressional review period, which taken alone does not break the agreement between the U.S., Iran and other world powers.
However, it does start a clock to resume sanctions that the U.S. had lifted prior to and as part of the Iran nuclear deal. In his announcement, the President said lawmakers are working on new legislation to deal with the regime, though Secretary of State Rex Tillerson elaborated during a conference call Thursday night.
The secretary of state said the White House will propose an amendment “to the INARA to put in place some very firm trigger points. If Iran crosses any of these trigger points, the sanctions automatically go back into place.”
“These are trigger points that are specific to the nuclear program itself, but also deal with things like their ballistic missile program,” he said.
Mr. Tillerson, along with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster referred to the entire plan as “President Donald J. Trump‘s New Strategy on Iran.”
However, after making the case that “Iranian dictatorship’s aggression continues to this day,” President Trump warned that he will not hesitate to unilaterally pull out of the deal if Congress does not act.
“The nuclear agreement will be terminated without an agreement,” Mr. Trump said. “As we have seen in North Korea, the longer we ignore a threat, the worse that threat becomes,” Trump said. “The world’s leading sponsor of terror will never obtain a nuclear weapon.”
The internal debate over the last certification deadline split the Trump Administration in two camps. Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and advisor Dr. Sebastian Gorka lost out to Secretary Tillerson, General McMaster and others.
The latter also wanted the commander-in-chief to re-certify the deal at this time.
But as People’s Pundit Daily (PPD) first reported last week, the President decided on a more comprehensive strategy for containing Iran, a government the review found to still be “the world’s leading state-sponsor of terror.”
In addition to authorizing the U.S. Treasury Department to further sanction the IRG, the Trump Administration will work with allies to address the regime’s proliferation of weapons.
The“fix it or nix it” approach is supported notably by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May have also made statements in the past few weeks indicating support for a plan that forces Iran back to the table. The goal is to reimplement the economic pain that brought the regime to the table in the first place.
He slammed the previous administration for lifting sanctions right before what very well could have been the total collapse of the regime.
“We hope that these new measures directed at the Iranian dictatorship will compel the government to reevaluate its pursuit of terror,” President Trump said. “We pray for a future where young children, American and Iranian, Muslim, Christian and Jewish, can grow up in a world free from violence, hatred and terror.”