President Trump announced on Friday that he will not recertify the Iran nuclear deal and will implement sanctions against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), moves that could have major implications on the United States’ Middle East policy going forward.
Trump delivered his announcement at the White House and declared that he “cannot and will not make this certification.”
“We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout,” said Trump. “I am directing my administration to work closely with Congress and our allies to address the deal’s many serious flaws so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons.”
The president outlined ways that the deal could be improved, including eliminating the deal’s provisions that eventually remove restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and adding in provisions that deal with Iran’s missile proliferation. If Congress fails to implement these changes, then Trump announced that he will nix the Iran deal altogether.
Trump also declared that the IRGC will be slapped with sanctions for their support for terror, although he stopped short of designating them as a terrorist organization.
“We hope that these new measures directed at the Iranian dictatorship will compel the government to re-evaluate its pursuit of terror at the expense of its people,” said Trump.
Under the Iran nuclear deal, the president has to decide every 90 days if the Iranian regime is complying with the deal. If the president thinks it isn’t, he can decertify the deal and give Congress 60 days to amend the agreement or re-impose sanctions on the Iranian regime. Congress is reportedly planning on proposing tougher restrictions on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs with the threat of re-imposing sanctions if Iran refuses to accept such restrictions.
Trump has repeatedly slammed the deal as “one of the worst and one-sided deals” that America agreed to. Britain, France and Germany have re-iterated their defense of the Iran deal in light of Trump’s announcement, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump.
“If the Iran deal is left unchanged, one thing is absolutely certain- in a few years’ time, the world’s foremost terrorist regime will have an arsenal of nuclear weapons and that’s tremendous danger for our collective future,” Netanyahu said in a video statement. “President Trump has just created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran’s aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism.”
For both sides of the decertification debate, be sure to check out Larry Greenfield’s column in the Journal in favor of decertification and Dalia Dassa Kaye’s Journal column against decertification, as well as Journal political editor Shmuel Rosner’s analysis.