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Trump Threads the Needle on Iran

He's decertifying the deal but not exiting it, and there are good reasons for this nuanced approach.

Reuel Marc Gerecht
16th October 2017 - Quoted by the National Security Desk - The Patriot Post

President Donald Trump announced Friday that he will not certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action), something that is required every 90 days under the terms of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. Having twice gritted his teeth and certified Iranian compliance while his administration was conducting a thorough review of its Iran policy options, the president appears finally to have had enough of people advising him that the United States is better off sticking with a flawed deal than no deal at all.

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Refusing to certify Iran’s compliance will not by itself take the United States out of the JCPOA. In a must-read examination of the possible outcomes, The Weekly Standard’s Reuel Marc Gerecht suggests that the best-case option could even be to de-certify the deal while continuing to waive sanctions, and then working to influence our European allies to ramp up economic pressure on Iran in an effort to get Tehran to accept modifications to the deal. He also makes a key point often left out of recent discussions of the Iran deal — namely the absolute need for a credible threat of military force as a last resort. Without that threat hovering in the background, Iran probably would think it could weather economic pain and wear down its western adversaries with endless go-nowhere talks. After all, the mullahs successfully ran out the clock on the Bush administration with that approach, and they know that President Trump, like George W. Bush before him, won’t be in office forever.

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Tags

iran, trump-administration