Second Thoughts? Trump Orders Review of Iran Nuke Deal

Could the US end up battling Iran at sea? US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jordan Crouch/Released.

United States President Donald Trump has long said that the Iran nuclear agreement, which involved the major world powers and included the U.S., was a “bad deal.” He hasn’t been as clear about the possibility that he could pull the U.S. out of the deal… until now. Recently, following a Congressional review of Iran’s commitment to their side of the deal—known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—Trump ordered an interagency review of the deal that opens the door to its repeal.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in comments to Congress summarized on the State Department website, “raised concerns about Iran’s role as a state sponsor of terrorism and alerted Congress to an effort directed by the President to evaluate whether continuing to lift sanctions would be in U.S. national security interests.” Once the review is done, Trump’s Administration “looks forward to working with Congress on this issue,” noted Tillerson’s letter to Congress. Roughly a week after the comment, Iran got too close for comfort to an American warship in the Persian Gulf.

Fox News reported that on Monday of this week, an Iranian warship got as close as 1,000 yards from the U.S. Missile Destroyer ship Mahan. The Iranian ship had its weapons manned, and the Mahan responded in kind and ultimately fired flares.

The incident marks the second time this year the Mahan has faced off with Iranian ships, and follows almost three dozen “unprofessional” interactions between Iran and the U.S. Navy in 2016.

Whether or not Trump will ultimately pull the plug on the Iranian nuclear deal is unclear. But what is clear is that Trump’s government is reviewing the JCPOA and isn’t happy with it.

“It was a terrible agreement. It shouldn’t have been signed,” said Trump in comments last week posted to the White House website. “…I’m all for agreements, but that was a bad one, as bad as I’ve ever seen negotiated.

While the State Department has certified that Iran has been technically compliant with the JCPOA, Trump doesn’t believe Iran is doing enough. “They are not living up to the spirit of the agreement, I can tell you that. And we’re analyzing it very, very carefully and we’ll have something to say about it in the not-too-distant future. But Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement. And they have to do that.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, April 26, 2017)

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