In February, President Donald Trump said that the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran was “one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen.” His comments were a direct echo of candidate Trump’s rhetoric: In one 2016 speech, he said, “my number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.”
While Trump refused to commit to tearing it up on day one, he repeatedly suggested that the deal was a “disaster” and that his administration would enforce it more harshly or perhaps seek to renegotiate its terms and make it a “totally different deal.”
Tuesday night, the Trump administration quietly took a very different line.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan that “certifies” Iran is complying with the terms of the deal, including the terms that place strict limits on its ability to develop a nuclear weapon. The deal, Tillerson said, was working.
Tillerson was careful to note that Tehran was “a leading state sponsor of terror,” and announced that Trump was initiating a review that will “evaluate whether suspension of sanctions related to Iran pursuant to the [Iran deal] is vital to the national security interests of the United States.”
But that kind of high-level review of major policy initiatives is actually quite normal for new administrations. According to experts across the political spectrum, the clear upshot of this letter is that the Iran deal is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
“My sense is the deal will be left largely intact,” Suzanne Maloney, a senior fellow in the Brookings Center for Middle East Policy says. “[Tearing it up] is more trouble than it’s worth.”
That’s not to say that the US and Iran will be on good terms. The Trump administration is likely to take a more confrontational …read more
Source:: Vox – All