Trump likely to say Iran complying with nuclear deal

Officials say Trump is "very likely" to state that Iran is adhering to the nuclear agreement it signed with world powers.

Elad Benari ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump is "very likely" to state that Iran is adhering to the nuclear agreement it signed with world powers, though he continues to have reservations about it, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Under U.S. law, the State Department must notify Congress every 90 days of Iran's compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Trump has a congressionally mandated deadline of Monday to decide.

The 2015 deal struck with Iran by the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany is aimed at preventing Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon by imposing time-limited restrictions and strict international monitoring on its nuclear program.

In return, Tehran received relief from some of the international economic sanctions that were imposed on it.

If Trump does state Iran is in compliance, it would be his second time doing so since taking office in January.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that Trump could always change his mind.

During the presidential election campaign, Trump was highly critical of the Iran nuclear deal, saying it was “disastrous” and pledging to annul it.

After he was sworn in as president, Trump described the nuclear deal as “the worst deal I’ve ever seen negotiated” and accused the Islamic Republic of “disrespecting” the United States because of the deal.

Despite this, however, the State Department in May renewed its waiver on the nuclear-related sanctions against Iran that it had suspended as part of the nuclear deal.

While lifting nuclear-linked sanctions, the United States maintains sanctions related to Iran's ballistic missile program, human rights record and its support for international terrorism.

Iranian officials have downplayed Trump’s criticism of the nuclear deal, saying he could not annul the deal even if he wishes to do so.

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, took things even further, saying in March his country is prepared to resume its nuclear activities if the United States continues its “lack of commitment” to the nuclear deal.