Senators call on Tillerson to declare Iran non-compliant with nuke deal

by WorldTribune Staff, July 13, 2017

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson must halt the Obama-era policy of “offering sheepish and faint-hearted certifications” of Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal it signed with world powers, four Republican senators said in a letter to Tillerson on July 11.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: ‘The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran.’ / Reuters

Declaring Iran non-compliant with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) would be the first step in scrapping the deal that thus far has only rewarded “Iran’s belligerence,” Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, David Perdue of Georgia, Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida said in the letter.

“We believe that a change in that policy is long overdue,” the senators wrote, adding that continuing policy established under former President Barack Obama “is the surest way to encourage Iran’s campaign of imperial aggression and speed its progress toward nuclear breakout.”

“In light of Iran’s malign actions since the signing of the [nuclear deal], the only reasonable conclusion is that the full suspension of U.S. sanctions is not in the vital national security interests of the United States and that Iran has consistently violated the terms of the [nuclear deal],” the senators wrote.

Certification of Iran’s compliance with the deal is required every 90 days.

Tillerson certified Iranian compliance the first time the question arose in the Trump administration, but the secretary of state also suggested he was maintaining the Obama-era status quo only temporarily.

“Strategic patience is a failed approach,” Tillerson said. “The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran.”

In their letter to Tillerson, the senators pointed to “Iran’s refusal to grant international inspectors access to nuclear-research and military facilities,” but also said that Iranian aggression unrelated to the deal should trigger a policy change from the Trump administration.

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