by Poorang Novak
Yesterday, the Trump administration said that it is deciding whether the controversial 2015 nuclear deal is actually working with or against the country’s security interests, despite Iran’s confidence that the US would not pull out. On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said to reporters that Trump will not follow through with his tough talk. He said: “We don’t think Trump will walk out of the deal despite (his) rhetoric and propaganda.”
Rouhani also made it clear that the Islamic Republic is not interested in renegotiating the nuclear deal.
President Trump who has already spoken negatively about the deal declared earlier this week that it is an “embarrassment” to the United States. Some experts are concerned that if the deal collapses, a regional arms race will be triggered and worsen the conflict in the Middle East.
He said that he knows what action he is going to take regarding the deal, but he will not elaborate for the time being.
The United States, France, Germany, Great Britain, China and Russia – the nations that negotiated the deal – met with Iran to discuss it. Sources indicate that there were long talks between the foreign ministers of the US and Iran.
The EU is a strong supporter of the deal and leaders maintain that chaos will ensue if the deal collapses. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said that after the talks everyone was in agreement that there have been no violations. She alluded to the North Korea nuclear threat when she said that “we definitely (do) not need to go into a second one (nuclear crisis)”. When asked whether the US would stay in the deal, she refused to answer.
Trump had previously said that he was left with the Iran nuclear threat because his predecessor did not deal with it properly. This week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reemphasised that Trump would be dealing with the problem head on and will not leave it to another president to sort out.
Tillerson also emphasised that Trump, who described the deal as “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” is going to make a very careful decision about the nuclear deal and how it impacts the national security interests of the United States.
By the 15th October, Trump will have made a decision about whether Iran will be granted compliance with the nuclear deal. The decision will greatly impact the future of the agreement, because if he decides that Iran will not be granted compliance, Congress will have sixty days to decide on whether to reimpose sanctions that were lifted as a result of the nuclear deal.
It is certain that if Trump pulls out of the deal, the other signatories of the deal will not be happy. French President Emmanuel Macron has said that it would be a mistake for Trump to pull out. However, Macron did say that he would welcome much tougher action towards Iran. Although he said that the deal was “good”, he admitted that it did not address key issues.