Trump expected to decertify Iran nuclear deal as part of broader strategy

During a meeting with military leaders President Donald Trump says that Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the nuclear deal agreed with world powers, and says goals on North Korea is 'denuclearization'.
Trump speaking to the media prior to boarding Marine One, Sept 29, 2017.
Trump speaking to the media prior to boarding Marine One, Sept 29, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Donald Trump is expected to announce soon that he will decertify the landmark international deal to curb Iran's nuclear programme, a senior administration official said on Thursday (Oct 5), in a step that could lead to renewed US sanctions against Teheran.

The decision on the nuclear deal is expected to be only part of what Trump will announce, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official said Trump is also expected to roll out a broader US strategy on Iran that would be more confrontational. The Trump administration has frequently criticised Iran's conduct in the Middle East.

The White House later said that Trump would reveal his decision on the deal within the coming days.

“The President is going to make an announcement about the decision that he’s made on a comprehensive strategy that his team supports, and we’ll do that in the coming days,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

If Trump declines to certify Iran's compliance with the accord, US congressional leaders would have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Teheran suspended under the agreement.

Trump has long criticised the Iran nuclear pact, a signature foreign policy achievement of his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, and signed in 2015 by the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, the European Union and Iran.

In April, the administration said it would review whether the lifting of sanctions against Iran was in the US national security interest. Trump is weighing a strategy that could allow more aggressive US responses to Iran's forces, its Shi'ite Muslim proxies in Iraq and Syria and its support for militant groups.

An administration official previously said the administration was considering Oct 12 for Trump to give a speech on Iran but no final decision had been made.

Supporters of the deal say its collapse could trigger a regional arms race and worsen Middle East tensions. Opponents say it went too far in easing sanctions without requiring that Iran end its nuclear programme permanently.