German intelligence agencies have warned German companies that Iran is still trying to circumvent restrictions on the sale of dual-use items for its rocket and missile technology program, according to a document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
President Trump will announce his decision on the Iran deal Friday, CBS News has learned… Mr. Trump, who has long been critical of the deal, reiterated to Fox News' Sean Hannity on Wednesday it was "one of the most incompetently drawn deals I've ever seen."
President Trump was livid. Why, he asked his advisers in mid-July, should he go along with what he considered the failed Obama-era policy toward Iran and prop up an international nuclear deal he saw as disastrous?... “He threw a fit,” said one person familiar with the meeting. “. . . He was furious. Really furious. It’s clear he felt jammed.” So White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster and other senior advisers came up with a plan — one aimed at accommodating Trump’s loathing of the Iran deal as “an embarrassment” without killing it outright. To get Trump, in other words, to compromise.
UANI IN THE NEWS
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), now chairman of United Against Nuclear Iran, which lobbied hard against the agreement, predicted lawmakers wouldn’t reimpose sanctions. “My guess is Congress will hold back if I’m hearing correctly from some of the people who spoke out about this,” he told reporters Tuesday on a conference call. “We will see what pressure builds.”
Chairman of United Against Nuclear Iran, Former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman spoke with Brian Kilmeade about reports President Trump is ready to decertify the Iran nuclear and why he is not worried about the President's strong language toward North Korea.
IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
President Donald Trump finds himself under immense pressure as he considers de-certifying the international nuclear deal with Iran, a move that would ignore warnings from inside and outside his administration that to do so would risk undermining U.S. credibility. Trump is expected to unveil a broad strategy on confronting Iran this week, likely on Friday. There was always the chance he could still have a last-minute change of heart and certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 accord, which he has called an “embarrassment” and the “worst deal ever negotiated.”
European countries are scrambling to cobble together a package of measures they hope will keep the Iran nuclear deal on track if U.S. President Donald Trump ignores their pleas and decertifies the landmark 2015 agreement this week. The package would include a strong statement backing the deal by European powers, together with efforts to lobby the U.S. Congress and put wider pressure on Iran, officials said.
Iran on Wednesday warned of a tough response if President Donald Trump presses ahead with his threats to scuttle the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told lawmakers during a closed session of parliament that Iran “will never renegotiate” the deal brokered with the U.S. and five other world powers, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Decertifying the nuclear deal with Iran is the first step toward fixing its severe deficiencies that place Iran on a North Korean-style glide path to developing nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Decertification is the first part of a strategy to “decertify, pressure and fix.” A 2015 law requires the president to certify to Congress every 90 days not just that Iran is fully implementing the nuclear deal, but also that the suspension of sanctions remains vital to U.S. national security interests.
CONGRESS & IRAN
This week, President Trump is expected to announce that he doesn't think Iran is complying with a global 2015 nuclear deal — and that he'll leave the fate of the pact in Congress's hands. From there, lawmakers will have 60 days to act on a range of options. They can tear up the United States' involvement in the deal, or try to get Europe and the United Nations on board with making changes, or do nothing at all. Here are the four main options available to them, listed in order of most to least damaging to the deal itself. It's not clear which option Congress will choose.
The Republican chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committee said on Wednesday the international nuclear deal with Iran should be strictly enforced by Washington working with its allies, but did not call for an end to the agreement. “As flawed as the deal is, I believe we must now enforce the hell out of it,” Representative Ed Royce said at a hearing. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce on Friday a new strategy for Iran that could include a first step toward the United States exiting the agreement.
President Donald Trump's top advisers briefed lawmakers Wednesday ahead of decision by the president on the fate of the Iran nuclear deal. White House officials said the pending decision wasn't shared, but several officials said they left the briefings convinced that Trump plans to decertify the deal, three officials told NBC News… Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, briefed lawmakers on the president's pending decision on Wednesday and proposed legislation to amend the original Obama-era agreement — something Congress doesn't have the authority to do — two of the officials said.
Members of Congress who have squared off on the Iran nuclear deal since its inception strategized Wednesday in preparation for President Trump’s highly anticipated announcement on its fate. Leading House Republicans huddled with national security adviser H.R. McMaster Wednesday evening for a classified briefing on the administration’s plan for the 2015 agreement. Emerging from the meeting, McMaster told reporters simply that it had been “Great, thanks.” If Trump decides to decertify Iran’s compliance, as expected, Congress will have 60 days to decide whether to “snap back” sanctions that were lifted in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.
IRANIAN DOMESTIC POLITICS
Will Iranian Reformists decide to once again support a moderate-conservative as their candidate in the 2021 presidential elections? This is a question that has come to occupy the minds of observers as a rare scene in a ceremony captured the attention of Iranian media outlets, leading Reformists to think more about their choices when President Hassan Rouhani’s second term ends. On Sept. 22, moderate parliament Speaker Ali Larijani was seen sitting next to former Reformist President Mohammad Khatami, who is under a media ban, and talking with him seriously — a scene that did not slip through the fingers of photographers and was captured and then released to the media.
On Oct. 5, unconfirmed reports about the detention of First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri’s brother surfaced in Iranian media. One day later, Jahangiri confirmed the reports, but distanced himself and President Hassan Rouhani’s administration from his brother, saying his brother never held a governmental position. While it may be true that Mahdi Jahangiri, the detained brother, had no position in government, he is known as one of the most prominent merchants in Iran and a founder of the Tourism Bank.
Iran’s intelligence minister on Wednesday defended a nuclear negotiator imprisoned on spying charges in a rare implied criticism of the judiciary. Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani, a Canadian-Iranian, was given a five-year prison sentence this month, with the judiciary saying he had provided “information for foreigners and had links with two espionage services”. But the charges were dismissed by Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi in comments carried by multiple Iranian news agencies, including the semi-official ISNA.