Ed Royce: Continued Criticism of Iran Nuclear Deal

On Saturday, Ed Royce, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, criticized the Iran nuclear deal, just days before President Trump will decide whether or not Tehran is complying with it. Royce said, “The Iranian regime has accelerated its illicit ballistic missile program, and there have been multiple reports of Iran not living up to the agreement. Just this past week, we learned German intelligence caught Iran trying to buy illegal nuclear weapons technology.” He added, “If Iran has not materially breached the agreement, it’s only because the JCPOA is so deeply flawed. It allowed Iran to keep thousands of nuclear centrifuges spinning and, even without cheating, keep a path to a nuclear weapon.”

In a Twitter post, Royce stated, “Two years after President Obama announced his ‘deal’ with Iran, the ayatollah is still working toward a nuclear bomb.”

Signed in Vienna on July 14th, 2015 after 20 months of negotiations led by the U.S. and six world powers, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) required Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons programs in exchange for the lifting sanctions and the unfreezing of tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue and other financial assets. It was hailed by Secretary of State John Kerry as “a measureable step away from the prospect of nuclear proliferation, towards transparency and cooperation.”

Republicans slammed the accord, as well as reports that the Obama White House transferred $1.7 billion in cash to Tehran shortly after the deal was effective. Officials said the payment was to settle a decades-old arbitration claim between the U.S. and Iran, but it was rumored to be an incentive for Tehran to release four American prisoners.

Republican Donald Trump repeatedly bashed the Iran nuclear deal, during his 2016 presidential campaign, saying, “My number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.” He declared that the agreement was negotiated at “the highest level of incompetence” and vowed to “rip up” what he called “the worst deal ever”, saying he would do it “on day one” if he won the election. However, by Monday, Trump must decide whether or not Iran is abiding by the deal.

The State Department is required by U.S. law to notify Congress of Iran’s compliance every 90 days. An administration official told Reuters Thursday that Trump was “very likely” to say that Tehran is honoring the accord despite his reservations.The official spoke on condition of anonymity, telling Reuters that “Trump could always change his mind.”

Thirty-eight retired U.S. generals and admirals urged the president in a letter this week to keep the nuclear deal, saying that it was critical to national security, in that it had stopped Tehran’s path to nuclear weapons. They called on the administration to open “official diplomatic communication channels with the Iranian government.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency concluded in December 2015 that Tehran worked on the design of a missile-borne nuclear warhead until 2009. Still, Iran denies seeking nuclear arms. It was reported this week that German intelligence reports recently surfaced showing that “there is no evidence of a complete about-face in Iran’s atomic polices in 2016.” According to the report, “Iran sought missile carrier technology necessary for its rocket program”.

The Trump administration “rightly put Iran on notice for its dangerous acts. The U.S. must continue to push back on Iran’s support for terrorism, its human-rights abuses and activities that violate the nuclear deal – in letter and in spirit.” Royce said in his statement on Saturday.

Source » ncr-iran

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