As RedState’s streiff has been correctly speculating for some time, the Trump Administration is set to kill the Iran deal by refusing to certify that it is in compliance with the deal before the October 15 deadline.
— Adam Kredo (@Kredo0) October 4, 2017
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the inability to accurately monitor Iran’s work relevant to the deal, which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently admitted was problematic, has left inspectors incapable of assessing if Iran is “working on sensitive nuclear explosive technology due to restrictions on inspections and specific sites in the Islamic Republic.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), a vocal opponent of the deal, told the Washington Free Beacon that Trump has no option but to decertify Iran and allow Congress to enact harsh penalties that could lay the groundwork for the entire agreement to be scrapped or renegotiated.
“The IAEA’s admission that they are unable to verify a fundamental provision under the nuclear deal—that the Iranians are not engaging in activities or using equipment to develop a nuclear explosive device—is highly alarming. In these circumstances, issuing a compliance certification would be serious mistake,” Cruz said.
“If the Iranians are serious about a peaceful program, they need to prove it. Iran’s continued refusal to allow IAEA access to military sites—a clear requirement of the terms of the deal—renders the JCPOA utterly ineffective, and, even worse, a sham that only facilitates Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons,” Cruz said. “This absence of any meaningful verification is yet another reason to vitiate this foolhardy agreement.”
As strieff wrote on the 20th, Trump had several options at his disposal regarding the deal, most of which amounted to decertifying with the option of staying in and punishing Iran for failure to meet requirements, or withdrawing altogether and possibly issuing sanctions. The administration appears to favor the latter, as Trump is said to feel the continued, frequent, mandated checks to ensure Iran’s compliance is a “source of embarrassment.” Streiff wrote this option was originally the favorite of Ambassador John Bolton.
4 – Decertify and withdraw from the deal — this option has been outlined and advocated most prominently by Amb Bolton. The argument is that the deal can’t be enforced or fixed. In August Bolton published a white paper charting the tactics and strategy that would be used to manage to withdrawal.
The decision to decertify could “set the stage for Congress to reimpose harsh economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic, according to multiple U.S. officials and sources familiar with the situation,” according to the Free Beacon.