With new deadlines looming, the Los Angeles Times reports that President Trump plans to again refuse to certify to Congress that the Iranian nuclear disarmament deal is America’s best interest — but will stop short of reimposing energy sanctions that could kill the landmark accord, according to a U.S. official involved in the process and a person familiar with the deliberations.
The White House is expected to announce the president’s decision, which still could change, on Friday.
The moves would maintain the status quo in place since October, when Trump first declined to certify the deal to Congress but left it intact. The Obama administration and five other world powers negotiated the accord with Iran in 2015 in an effort to block Tehran from building nuclear weapons.
Iran agreed to dismantle or destroy most of its nuclear infrastructure under the agreement. In exchange, the global community agreed to ease economic sanctions related to the nuclear program. Trump has sharply criticized the deal, in part, because it doesn’t limit Iranian development of ballistic missiles and support for militant groups in the Middle East.
Refusing to certify that the agreement is in the best interest of the U.S. Congressional leaders have begun to look at ways to rewrite several key provisions, including possibly eliminating sunset clauses and requiring more intrusive inspections.