As Trump Bashes Iran Deal, European Leaders Stand Up To Defend It

European powers are racing to salvage the Iran nuclear deal after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he is decertifying the landmark agreement and leaving its fate up to Congress.

Trump spoke about his plan “to confront the Iranian regime’s hostile actions, and to ensure Iran never ― and I mean never ― acquires a nuclear weapon” during a speech on Friday, nearly two years after the deal was adopted following decades of diplomatic tensions between Tehran and the West.

Congress will now have 60 days to amend the legislation. If congressional leaders fail to address Trump’s concerns, he said, the U.S. will “terminate” the deal.

But Trump does not have the authority to unilaterally end the pact, which is “not a bilateral agreement,” said European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who chaired the final stages of the milestone negotiations.

“The president of the United States has many powers, but this is not one,” Mogherini said Friday. “The international community, and the European Union with it, has clearly indicated that the deal is, and will, continue to be in place.”

Known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the agreement between Iran, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, Germany and the EU requires Tehran to rein in its nuclear program in exchange for relief from stifling economic sanctions.

The White House is required to recertify the JCPOA every 90 days to confirm Iran’s compliance. Trump’s decision not to do so is provocative but unsurprising: He’s repeatedly called it one of the “worst” and “most incompetently drawn” deals he’s ever seen, and accused Iran of failing to uphold the “spirit” of the treaty.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said this week that Tehran is “under technical compliance” with its obligations, but Trump …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Australia

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