The world is weighing in with advice to President Donald Trump as a 120-day review period for the Iran nuclear deal that the United States entered into in 2015 with Iran, China, Russia, Germany, France, and the UK comes to an end less than a week from now – on May 12. Trump has expressed his dislike of the deal in the past and is expected to pull out of it on Saturday, but there’s also a chance that the terms of the deal will be renegotiated.
President Barack Obama negotiated the deal that requires Iran to roll back its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of multiple sanctions, essentially allowing billions of dollars to begin flowing to Iran again. The agreement, as described by Vox: 1) required Iran to dismantle most of the centrifuges they used to enrich uranium, 2) limited their enrichment of uranium to the level at which it can be used to fuel nuclear plants, 3) required Iran to give up 97 percent of their nuclear stockpile, 4) limited its use of nuclear plants to two specific locations that could be used for physics research and for uranium enrichment, 5) required Iran to repurpose their Arak facility to be used only for making nuclear fuel, and 5) imposed regular inspections of all known nuclear sites and some related locations and gave permission for inspections if anything suspicious arose. Iran has to grant permission for these inspections. The agreement has had its critics from the day it was signed, among them Donald Trump.
Trump has voiced three main issues he has with the Iran deal. The first item he doesn’t like about the deal is the sunset clauses that put time limits on some restrictions like those placed on centrifuges and research. He also takes issue with limits on which military site inspectors can see and the deal’s failure to address Iran’s ballistic missiles program and terrorist support. President Trump has indicated in the past that he will withdraw from the deal unless it can be renegotiated to address these concerns.
Both French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Markel paid recent visits to the White House in attempts to persuade him to remain in the agreement. After his visit, Macron indicated that he believes Trump will withdraw from the deal for “domestic reasons.” The Hill reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a presentation this week in which he provided what he called “secret files” that are proof that Iran had lied about not wanting to develop nuclear weapons in the early 2000s and then had hidden the evidence so it could resume its program at some point. He said in part, “This is a terrible deal. It should never have been concluded.” Today Netanyahu again pushed President Trump to pull out of the deal and confront Iran now instead of at a later time.
BBC reported today that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued a warning to President Trump on live Iranian television this morning. Rouhani said, “If America leaves the nuclear deal, this will entail historic regret for it” and declared that Iran has developed “a plan to counter any decision Trump may take and we will confront it.” Iran maintains that its nuclear program is peaceful and that the current deal is not negotiable.