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Russia, Iran reaffirm commitment to nuclear deal

13 January 2018

By Friday, US President Donald Trump is obligated to renew sanctions waivers on Iran.

"Our region will not become a safer region without the JCPOA", Aragchi said. "We are not convinced that Europeans can support their own companies against the United States and encourage them to work with Iran in case the U.S. sanctions are back".

Leading Israeli expert on Iranian affairs Dr. Eran Lerman told World Israel News (WIN), "Trump wants to avoid a major crisis at this time, so I expect he will try to find another way to delay a decision to impose sanctions, while keeping all options open". Tehran has warned that any failure to sign the waiver would lead to the deal's collapse, and the speedy restart of uranium enrichment.

Trump famously threw a temper tantrum in the Oval Office in July when he was not offered an option to kill the deal and instead was forced to recertify it.

The recent popular protests in Iran have captured President Trump's attention and injected a new level of uncertainty into the process.

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European officials have however conceded that Mr Trump's frustration over weaker aspects of the deal is well grounded and deserves support.

The assumption has been that the deal could, technically, stand if the USA left.

But Trump outsmarted his national security team.

Perhaps most important of all, global nuclear inspectors have not bothered to check military sites, where Iran is suspected of having conducted nuclear activity in the past.

Last October, President Trump declined to re-certify Iranian compliance with the Iran deal, kicking responsibility for fixing the deal to Congress.

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The challenge, however, is that Congress did not write the deal and can not now change it. So either way, the deal would end up getting nixed.

More than a month has passed since decertification, and predictably Congress has failed to act.

"Are we actually going to see measures that strike a blow at the heart of the regime's corruption and repression, or are they going to be meaningless sanctions targeting a few individuals?" He added that the European parties are "fully aware that Iran's continued compliance (is) conditioned on full compliance by the USA". The administration may even apply new human rights sanctions against Iran in response to the ongoing crackdown. "As a matter of fact, Iran has not benefited from easing of the sanctions", he said during a meeting with a number of European politicians in which Iran's View Mojtaba Mousavi was present. Others, like Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, argued that taking a nuclear threat off the table - however temporarily - made it easier to squeeze a recalcitrant Iran for its other bad acts.

United Nations inspectors have certified Iran's compliance with the deal nine times, most recently in November, and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said there was "no indication" Tehran was not keeping its side of the bargain. He should also point out that the only ones who seem to have benefitted from the massive infusion of cash that President Obama sent Iran are the regime leaders and the terrorist groups they fund, such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

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Russia, Iran reaffirm commitment to nuclear deal