Thursday, May 3, 2018

Iran Says 'No Deal Left' If US Leaves Nuclear Agreement

Amid the recent speculation that President Trump will not continue the Obama nuclear deal with Iran, the stakes have just gotten higher. An Iranian representative ruled out modifications to the deal and say that if the US withdraws from the agreement, “it means that there is no deal left.”

Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran’s ambassador to the UK, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “The consequence would be that Iran would in fact be ready to go back to the previous situation.”

The ambassador further explained, “It could be enriching uranium, it could be redefining our cooperation with the agency [IAEA], and some other activities that are under consideration.”

President Trump has suggested that the Iran deal is flawed and needs to be renegotiated, but Baeidinejad rejected that possibility as “totally unacceptable.”

“JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name for the Iran deal] was negotiated on its own merits, and still it's working and it should be continued to be enforced,” he said.

In response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s allegations that Iran has been “brazenly lying” about complying with the deal, Baeidinejad said, “There have been some allegations against conducting of such activities in Iran, but never was there ever any proof presented to Iran.”

Under the terms of the deal, the president must certify to Congress every 90 days that Iran is in compliance. The deal gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for reducing Iran’s ability to create plutonium and uranium, two key components of nuclear weapons. The deal’s 10-year sunset clause is one of its most controversial aspects.

In October 2017, Trump decertified Iran’s participation, but did not withdraw the US from the agreement. In January 2018, the president again continued the deal, but said that absent “fixing significant flaws in the deal… the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal.”

Withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal may complicate the ability of the Trump Administration to make a similar deal with North Korea. If the US pulls out of the Iran deal without sufficient justification, North Korea could be hesitant to enter into a new deal.

President Trump told reporters, “I think it [threatening Iran] sends the right message” to North Korea.

“In seven years that deal will have expired, and Iran is free to go ahead and create nuclear weapons,” the president said. “That's not acceptable.”

President Trump must make a decision on whether to certify and continue the Iran deal by May 12.

Originally published on The Resurgent

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