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The US has no real alternative to the present Iran nuclear deal


Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, who moderated a question-and-answer session after Ms. Haley's speech, said the ambassador should be given credit for publicly laying out the administration's thinking on Iran.

"If the president finds that he can not in good faith certify Iranian compliance, he would initiate a process whereby we move beyond narrow technicalities and look at the big picture", she said.

"If the president finds that he can not certify Iranian compliance, it would be a message to Congress that the administration believes either that Iran is in violation of the deal, or that the lifting of sanctions against Iran is not appropriate and proportional to the regime's behavior, or that the lifting of sanctions is not in the US national security interest, or any combination of the three", she said.

"Under its structure, we must consider not just the Iranian regime's technical violations of the JCPOA, but also its violations of [U.N. Security Council] Resolution 2231 and its long history of aggression", Haley said referring to the resolution enacting the nuclear deal.

While the North Korea and Iran nuclear programs are quite different - the North has a small arsenal of atomic weapons, and Iran does not - the decisions about how to handle them are closely related, many experts argue.

Critically, included in this supposed "non-nuclear" activity is the IRGC's ongoing development of ballistic missile technology.


The IAEA most recently verified Iranian adherence to its commitments on Thursday, shortly after US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley traveled to Vienna to press the agency to request access to Iran's military sites. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas. These assessments are why, even though Trump has said he wants to dismantle what he has called "the worst deal ever", he has now twice, reluctantly, certified to Congress that Iran is in compliance. The deal did not impinge on sanctions on Iran unrelated to its nuclear activities, and President Donald Trump has continued to oppose them like his Oval Office predecessor, Barack Obama.

No access to Iranian military sites by global inspectors will be allowed despite the USA attempt to do so, a senior advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said Wednesday.

"Why this middle path where you decertify and force Congress to make this hard decision for you, rather than make this hard decision yourself?" he asked. But in the last known inspection of a military site, the agency allowed Iranian personnel to do that work under limited conditions two years ago at Parchin, a facility where the agency suspects Iranian scientists worked in the past on atomic arms. "At issue is our national security".

"The entire world thinks the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) is untouchable, but it's not", said Haley here at an event. And we must consider the day when the terms of the JCPOA sunset.

Although administration officials have repeatedly emphasized to European allies that Mr. Trump's "America First" slogan does not mean "America Alone", going it alone on the Iran nuclear deal would be just fine, Ms. Haley said Tuesday.

"If the president finds that he can not in good faith certify Iranian compliance, he would initiate a process whereby we move beyond narrow technicalities and look at the big picture", Haley said at the American Enterprise Institute on Tuesday. By ignoring the risks and eliding basic facts, Haley's arguments are likely only to undermine USA foreign policy. "The White House may leave the door open to renegotiating the deal, although I believe Tehran is likely to reject renegotiating the issue".

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