BREAKING: Tillerson: Trump will not withdraw from Iran nuclear deal but will say pact is not in US national security interests.
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 13, 2017
TRUMP on the Iran nuclear deal: “I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification.”
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) October 13, 2017
These tweets are two hours apart.
I guess (?????) it’s going to happen. Maybe?
The problem is that Iran is complying. He has no basis to withdraw other than the fact that it is (in his view) “a bad deal”. And that creates a huge problem in the long term. How can any country enter ANY kind of deal with the United States if some president comes along in four years and breaks the deal FOR NO REASON?
France, Germany and the UK respond:
Trump’s decision to decertify the deal by mid-October will start a 60-day clock for lawmakers to decide whether to reimpose U.S. sanctions on Iran. Tillerson said that Trump would decertify it on the grounds that he does not believe the sanctions relief that Iran is getting is proportional to benefits that come from Iran’s efforts to curb its nuclear program.
In other words, Trump makes a mess (again) and then puts it on Congress to fix it.
UPDATE: Joe Biden on Facebook writes:
Two years ago, the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, and China reached an historic agreement with Iran to block its pathways to a nuclear weapon. That agreement is working. It is making the United States and our allies, including Israel, more secure.
And the truth of the matter is, Iran is holding up its end of the deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency has said so. Our allies in Europe have said so. Even the Trump administration has twice certified Iran’s compliance.
So President Trump’s decision today to decertify the nuclear deal goes aganst reason and evidence. It constitutes an unfounded and unnecessary threat to America’s national security—one that inflicts lasting damage to American global leadership.
Unilaterally putting the deal at risk does not isolate Iran. It isolates us.
Just last week, Secretary of Defense Mattis testified to Congress that it is in the national security interests of the United States to remain in the deal. In announcing his decision, President Trump did not present a credible case to contradict that assessment—because he can’t. Instead, he is playing politics at the expense of the safety of every single American citizen.
The Iran deal does one thing: remove the immediate threat that a nuclear-armed Iran would present to the region, Israel, and the United States. It was never meant to be a catchall solution. Nor does it prevent us from taking steps to address Iran’s continued provocations and destabilizing actions in the region. Only now, President Trump has worsened our negotiating position. This decision will cost us leverage. It will weaken our unity with our allies. It will damage our credibility.
The detrimental effects of this step today will also ripple outward and cripple our ability to resolve other challenges. After today, what incentive would the leadership in North Korea have to sit down with the United States, China, and other partners to negotiate a diplomatic resolution to the escalating nuclear crisis? After today, why would the rest of the world join us in pushing for a diplomatic solution we might not uphold? After today, what is America’s word worth in the world?
Now, responsibility for America’s leadership and reputation rests with Congress. It is my hope that rational heads will prevail—that members will listen to the testimony of experts and our own national security establishment; that they will recognize the damage reimposing sanctions on Iran, in violation of our own obligations under the deal, will cause. And I hope Congress will do something the president is unwilling to do: ensure our actions contribute to the international consensus on how best to address the challenge posed by Iran instead of putting that consensus in jeopardy.
The United States has earned our position of respect in the world through generations of sacrifice and selfless leadership—we must not abandon that so casually.