President Trump has announced that he is decertifying the Iran nuclear deal.  The decision comes after U.S. allies and other member countries tout the effectiveness of the deal and are insisting that Iran is meeting its obligations of the deal. Already facing a nuclear threat from North Korea, critics question the timing of the decertification.

“I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification. In the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated… our participation can be canceled by me, as president, at any time.” – Donald Trump

A Closer Look at The Deal

  • The Iran nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is an agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the U.S., China, France, Russia, the U.K. — plus Germany and the EU. It was signed in October 2015 after years of intense diplomacy, and was implemented at the start of 2016.
  • Terms of agreement: Put simply, the deal was made to ensure Iran’s nuclear program is limited to civilian use. It also extended Iran’s breakout time to 12 months or more by forcing the country to significantly reduce its amount of enriched uranium; dismantle and remove the majority of its centrifuges (devices that can be used to create weapons-grade uranium); remove calandria from its reactors and fill them with concrete, and provide unprecedented access to its nuclear facilities.
  • In return, the deal’s member countries relaxed sanctions imposed on Iran as punishment for its nuclear action, though several sanctions still remain in place.
  • The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) requires the U.S. president to certify to Congress every 90 days that Iran is complying with the deal. So far, Trump has issued two certifications, in April and July, and the next deadline is Oct. 15 (this Sunday).
  • Compliance: According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IEA) — the organization responsible for monitoring Iran’s nuclear activities and the deal’s member countries — Iran has been fulfilling its obligations.

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