Saturday, October 14, 2017

Trump's Iran decertification announcement again rattles world

US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump's Friday decertification of Iran's compliance with the landmark nuclear deal has provoked wide disturbances and fury in and outside the United States.

In his speech, Trump announced his new Iran strategy, when he hammered Iran and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in an uncommonly aggressive rhetoric, accusing them of agitating regional instability and exporting violence.

He also refused to recertify and threatened to terminate the hard-won Iran nuclear accord, saying it was "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into."

Later on Friday, the US military said it was reviewing the "entire breadth" of its security cooperation, force posture and plans to backup Trump's Iran strategy.

"We are identifying new areas where we will work with allies to put pressure on the Iranian regime, neutralize its destabilizing influences, and constrain its aggressive power projection," Pentagon spokesman Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway was quoted as saying.

Tehran has rejected any renegotiation of the deal. Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi responded soon after Trump's speech that "Iran will earnestly follow and boost its defensive and security capabilities."

"Any move against the Iranian armed forces, including the IRGC, will be met by Iran's strong response," he said.

Across the Atlantic, the US European allies were also frustrated. Soon after Trump's U-turn announcement, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the Iran nuclear deal "is a robust deal that provides guarantees and a strong monitoring mechanism," hence cannot be terminated by any leader, including Trump.

She added that "there have been no violations of any of the commitments," noting "the President of the United States has many powers. Not this one."

In a joint statement, Britain, France and Germany said that the three countries remained committed to the deal and are "concerned by the possible implications" of Trump's decision not to support it.

Russian Foreign Ministry also said that there was no place in international diplomacy for threatening and aggressive rhetoric, and such methods were doomed to fail.

Trump's decertification would not have a direct impact on implementation of the agreement; rather, it ran counter to the very spirit of the deal, said the ministry.

Outside the United States, among the rare souces of applause for Trump's decision was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said later in a Facebook video that Trump "created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran's aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism."

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