Trump's UN Envoy: Iran Deal 'Designed to Be Too Big to Fail'

UN to Iran: Military sites must be monitored

UN to Iran: Military sites must be monitored

"I'm not making the case for decertifying (the agreement)", she told her rapt AEI audience. "I'm saying should the president decide to decertify, he has grounds to stand on". Despite repeated IAEA reports verifying full Iranian compliance, the administration of US President Donald Trump has sought to portray Iran as being in violation of the accord.

The speech is worth reading in full if only for the historical accounting of the Iranian regime's behavior, its nuclear program and its support for terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley says she doesn't know what decision Trump will make on the Iran deal. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas.

Strikingly, in a nearly hourlong speech devoted almost exclusively to the deficiencies of the Iran nuclear deal, Haley offered no vision for what alternative steps the Trump administration would take to restrain Iran's nuclear behavior should it move to collapse the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Upon a finding that Iran is not complying, Congress would consider whether to reimpose US sanctions lifted as part of the agreement, and USA participation in the worldwide agreement would be in limbo.

Haley said the JCPOA was created to be "too big to fail". However - and this is key - do we have any confidence this administration is equipped to negotiate new provisions, keep allies on board and not induce Iran to leave the deal in such a fashion as to appear the sympathetic victim of USA double-crossing?

During this meeting, the Japanese side expressed his interest in extending mutual familiarity between the lawyers and juries of the two countries and also on developing bilateral relations in the area of law and judicial system. Instead, she said the decision to leave the accord would be tossed to Congress, leaving room for lawmakers to keep in place USA sanctions relief.

When limits on Iran's uranium enrichment or centrifuge production expire, Iran may be able to send a nuclear warhead to the U.S., as North Korea can now, Haley said. She's leaving open the possibility that sanctions relief could remain.

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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.

As with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, punting the Iran issue to Congress seems like a way for the Trump Administration to have its cake and eat it too, by declaring Iran non-compliant but not taking responsibility if the deal subsequently falls apart.

Haley said she would not predict the president's decision, but suggested repercussions if Iran continues to deny the IAEA access to its military sites to ensure Tehran's compliance to the accord. "The entire world thinks the JCPOA is untouchable", Haley said, "but it's not".

The periodic certification is not a requirement of the JCPOA itself, but of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.

Haley's argument, made Monday in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, was that the agreement was inextricably bound to other manifestations of Iran's bad behavior, including its development of missiles, military adventurism and backing for terrorism. "And we must consider the day when the terms of the JCPOA sunset", she said.

"We will stay in a deal, as long as it protects the security of the United States".

She said the crisis with nuclear-armed North Korea foreshadowed what could happen if Iran secretly develops nuclear arms.

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