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Congress can get tough on Iran and still preserve nuclear deal: Former IAEA official

Olli Heinonen
23rd October 2017 - Quoted by James Reinl - The Middle East Eye

Washington can clamp down harder on Iran’s nuclear programme without ditching a 2015 deal brokered by the Obama administration, nuclear expert Olli Heinonen told Middle East Eye ahead of his congressional appearance this week.

On Wednesday, Heinonen, a former deputy chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will advise lawmakers on how to handle Iran after US President Donald Trump’s decision this month to not certify Tehran’s compliance with the nuclear accord.

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But Heinonen challenged the idea that US allies would not revisit the deal, saying Australia and Canada have expressed concerns and French President Emmanuel Macron has sounded alarm over Iran’s ballistic missile work.

“There is appetite, but they’re not overly hungry. They hope that, with time, things change. I did my military service in the air force and one of the first lessons we were taught is that hope is not a method,” said Heinonen, from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Heinonen will testify to the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s 13-member Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa alongside Mark Wallace, a former UN ambassador, and Philip Gordon, a former White House director for the Middle East.

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