The Trump administration is set to sign off on a new round of waivers of sanctions against Iran that will keep the U.S. in compliance with the Iran nuclear deal as the president determines what to do next, multiple sources tell ABC News.
Trump faces a deadline today when the U.S. must waive sanctions against Iran or let them snap back into place, violating the nuclear agreement and likely destroying it. The White House has yet to publicly announce a decision on what it will do while a vocal campaign including by top former Obama administration officials has been calling on the president to stay in the deal.
The sanctions waivers are one of America’s obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, which offered Iran relief from crippling international sanctions in exchange for inspections of its nuclear facilities and limits on its nuclear capabilities.
What’s to come
While Trump is complying with the deal for now, all eyes are on another deadline – Oct. 14 – when the administration must certify to Congress that Iran is meeting its obligations under the agreement and that the deal remains within U.S. interests.
But that certification to Congress, required every 90 days under U.S. law and not as part of the Iran deal itself, is in jeopardy as Trump seraches for a way out of the accord.
After the last certification to Congress in July, Trump told The Wall Street Journal, “If it was up to me, I would have had them noncompliant 180 days ago.” He said he expected Iran to be declared noncompliant the next time, this October.
In a speech last week, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley laid out how and why the administration might decertify the agreement, citing Iran’s other malign activities like support for terrorism. She said, however, that it was ultimately up to the president.
If the president decides by the Oct. 14 deadline to decertify the Iran deal, it would kick off a 60-day period in which Congress must decide whether to reinstate sanctions on Iran by a simple majority vote. But reinstating sanctions would violate the U.S.’s terms — and effectively tear up the agreement.
Campaign to keep the Iran deal in place
While the White House finishes its Iran policy review, a vocal campaign against any possibility of decertifying the agreement is underway, led by Obama administration officials. President Obama himself is reportedly aware of the campaign, according to these officials.
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