Published: Thu, September 07, 2017
Economy | By Guillermo Lane

What Nikki Haley told us about the future of the Iran deal

What Nikki Haley told us about the future of the Iran deal

"I think Haley's speech really didn't offer us any alternative ways forward". But she said if he did decide against certifying Iran's compliance, he'd be on solid ground, but added, "What happens next is significantly in Congress' hands".

She said Iran's history, its hostility toward the USA have to figure into Donald Trump's calculus when he decides in October whether to certify if Iran is abiding by the deal.

Iran's President Hasan Rouhani said Wednesday that threats by the United States had pushed North Korea to test nuclear weapons and were a "dangerous game for the entire world".

Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015 with the U.S., Russia, Britain, China and France plus Germany, under which Tehran agreed to roll back parts of its nuclear weapon program in exchange for decreased economic sanctions. An additional June 2017 allegation by the USA accused the Iranians of receiving a shipment of ballistic-missile technology, but so far the Secretary General has not been able to corroborate it.

Iran has said it would continue to adhere to the agreement if the other five national signatories remained committed, but if the deal did fall apart and Iran restored its programme at its pre-2015 level, it could trigger a second global nuclear crisis, alongside the precarious stand-off with North Korea. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas.

USA law requires the president to notify Congress every 90 days on whether Iran is adhering to the accord, which aimed to limit Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions related to the program.

"During that time, Congress could take the opportunity to debate Iran's support for terrorism, its past nuclear activity, and its massive human rights violations, all of which are called for in Corker-Cardin", she said.

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"We should welcome a debate over whether the JCPOA is in USA national security interests", she said, using the acronym for the deal's formal title, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

During this meeting, the Japanese side expressed his interest in extending mutual familiarity between the lawyers and juries of the two countries and also on developing bilateral relations in the area of law and judicial system. It is said Mogherini has repeatedly stressed that the JCPOA is a multilateral deal and that no party can singularly make decisions on behalf of others.

Iran has steadfastly denied cheating and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency, has not uncovered any major violations by Tehran.

"Iran's leaders want to use the nuclear deal to hold the world hostage to its bad behavior", she said.

If Trump does not certify the deal by the 15 October deadline, he would - as in the case of the Daca legislation on child immigrants - put the ball in Congress's court on Iran policy. And we must consider the day when the terms of the JCPOA sunset. She said it did not resolve a long list of other U.S. grievances about Iran's behavior, from its support for the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah to its ballistic missile program. Haley has warmed to this cause both because of her own previous parochial interests, including those associated with financial contributions she has received, and because it is a convenient vehicle for playing to Trump's urges. I'm not saying we should get out of the deal. New sanctions would need 60 votes in the Senate, and key Democrats who opposed the nuclear deal, such as Senator Charles Schumer, have not said whether they would vote for action that could destroy the Iran accord.

Trump's decertification "would signal one or more of the following three messages to Congress", Haley said. The IAEA polices restrictions the deal placed on Iran's nuclear activities and reports quarterly.

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