The American president plans not to confirm the nuclear agreement to Congress.
Donald Trump wants to test his “art of the deal” on a negotiator more oriental than him. Required to confirm every three months to Congress that Iran respects its part of the nuclear agreement concluded in July 2015, the American president is preparing to denounce it, to better "repair" it.
With the Oct. 15 deadline approaching, the White House National Security Council has come out in favor of a maneuver meant to reconcile Trump's oft-expressed rejection of the "worst deal ever," for which he blames his predecessor. , and the interest of the United States to keep it as it is. To do this, he is preparing to "decertify" it in front of elected officials, without pushing them to reimpose the sanctions that had been lifted. Congress has 60 days to decide. This period would be used to put pressure on Tehran and the co-signatories of the agreement (Germany, China, France, United Kingdom, Russia) so that they undertake to improve or complete it.
Washington notably wants to remedy the “twilight clause”, which lifts certain constraints after 2025, and force Tehran to open military bases to inspections by the nuclear agency (IAEA). The Trump Administration is also insisting on imposing new restrictions on Iran on its "destabilizing activities" in the Middle East. Are particularly targeted its ballistic missile program and its regional expansionism, via its financial and military support for the Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria, the Houthis in Yemen, the Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas. The Pentagon has already decided to retaliate “more vigorously” to the Revolutionary Guards in the Strait of Hormuz. The CIA entrusted the Iranian file to Michael D'Andrea, former responsible for the hunt for Bin Laden and the drone strikes, suggesting an increase in clandestine operations.
The American president rallied Paris and London to his objective, but not to his method. During their meeting at the UN, Emmanuel Macron underlined the risk of leaving the agreement without an alternative solution. A European diplomat warns that "the threat of the American stick has no chance of working with Tehran if we do not add carrots".
Trump's contortionist strategy is subject to several unknowns, including the premise that the deal will survive its termination. She is also betting that Washington will not be kicked out of the game by the other signatories because of its threat to reinstate sanctions. She finally calculates that Tehran will yield to the pressure. This presupposes a united front, not only of allies, but of the Administration and Congress. However, heard in the Senate on Wednesday, General Joseph Dunford, Chief of Staff, affirmed that "Iran has not materially broken" its commitments and Defense Secretary James Mattis spoke out for "stay in tune». On Capitol Hill, several Republican senators opposed to the deal when it was signed now want to preserve it.
In the coming showdown, the military threat is already implicit. Tom Cotton, a senator from Arkansas close to Trump, told the Council on Foreign Relations on Tuesday: “There is no reason not to give diplomacy a little time.” Before specifying: “There are many precedents for calibrated strikes to achieve our objectives.”
Source: © Le Figaro Premium – Donald Trump engages in a showdown with Iran