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Posted: October 12, 2017

What will happen if President Trump decertifies the Iran nuclear deal?

By Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

President Donald Trump is facing pressure from U.S. and world leaders as several reports say he is expected to decertify the nuclear deal with Iran.

The move, which some expect will come on Friday, could leave the United States on the opposite side of many European allies and, ultimately, unravel the agreement negotiated under President Barack Obama’s administration.

The deal, which gave Iran relief from economic sanctions in return for constraints on its nuclear program took effect in January 2016. Here’s a look at the program and what it means if the president decertifies it.

What is the deal?

The Iranian nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA – called for Iran to impose limits on nuclear research and cut back on enriching uranium. In exchange, the U.S., China France, the United Kingdom and Germany would relax economic sanctions each country imposed on Iran.

JCPOA is a “non-binding political agreement.” Click here to learn the specifics of the plan.

Will the deal be broken if Trump decertifies it?

No, the deal will not be invalidated if the administration decertifies it. While the president is required to certify the deal every 90 days, that certification is not part of the deal. The requirement for certification that Iran is complying with the deal came out of the dissatisfaction by Republicans over the Obama administration’s agreement. Trump has twice certified the deal since he took office in January.

What happens if Trump decertifies the deal?

If Trump decertifies the agreement, Congress will have 60 days in which it can reimpose economic sanctions on Iran. The vote would be a simple majority vote as there is no filibustering the deal. If those sanctions are put back into place, the JCPOA would be considered breached.

However, just because Congress has a window to fast-track legislation doesn’t mean it has to reimpose economic sanctions. Members can choose to do nothing.

What will happen then?

If the U.S. decided to reimpose nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, it would be in breach of the JCPOA. 

Who says they are not holding up their end of the deal?

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitors Iran’s actions and has, thus far, confirmed that Iran is in compliance with the deal. The president says he believes they are not following the "spirit" of the deal.

What is Trump expected to say or do about the deal?

According to CNN, the president is expected to lay out a new strategy to counter Iran's regional aggression and its threats worldwide.


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