Trump leaning toward decertifying Iran deal, putting on Congress: report

Trump leaning toward decertifying Iran deal, putting on Congress: report
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE is reportedly inclined to decertify the nuclear accord with Iran, instead putting the responsibility on Congress to determine if the U.S. will exit the deal.

NBC News, citing four sources, reported on Wednesday that should Trump shift the decision to Congress, he will push European powers to renegotiate parts of the agreement.


The report comes ahead of the next deadline for Trump to recertify the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on Oct. 15. The agreement, reached in 2015 between Iran, the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, China and Russia, aimed to curb Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Some of the sources who spoke to NBC noted that the president could alter his decision in the coming weeks. One possibility, according to the report, is that Trump will provide the European powers with 90 days to sign on to renegotiations with Tehran.

The president on Wednesday morning told reporters that he has “decided” what he will do with the deal, but did not provide details.

The Trump administration most recently recertified the Iran deal in July, but officials at the time emphasized that Iran is "in default of the spirit” of the agreement, vowing to combat the country’s “malign activities” outside the scope of the nuclear accord.

Trump, who slammed the deal repeatedly on the campaign trail, took the opportunity to rail against the accord during his first address to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, calling the agreement an “embarrassment” and the government in Tehran “a murderous regime.”

“The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” Trump said in the remarks. “Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you have heard the last of it, believe me.” 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently reiterated Tehran’s long-held stance that an exit from the deal would come at a price for the United States.

"Exiting such an agreement would carry a high cost for the United States of America, and I do not believe Americans would be willing to pay such a high cost for something that will be useless for them,” Rouhani said in an interview broadcast earlier this week.

The administration is also said to be eyeing a more aggressive strategy toward Iran that would reportedly address how the U.S. military handles Iranian proxies and confrontations with Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.