Apparently, President Donald Trump would be on “solid ground” to declare that Iran has been in violation of the nuclear deal.
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said at a meeting with the conservative American Enterprise Institute that a case could be made proving that Iran has not been compliant with the 2015 deal.
“What happens next is significantly in Congress’ hands. I get that Congress doesn’t want this. This is not an easy situation for Congress,” said Haley. “But our lives are not about being easy. Our lives are about being right.”
Trump has repeatedly accused Iran of violating the nuclear deal and has been debating for months whether to kill the deal or improve it.
Both in April and July, Trump reluctantly certified Iran’s compliance, but issued a warning saying that he is not inclined to do so again.
Withdrawing from the deal would evidently enrage Iran and U.S. allies in Europe. So the Trump administration has been treading lightly.
“This is about U.S. national security. This is not about European security,” said Haley.
However, like Haley has said, Iran has not been abiding by the Nuclear deal sanctions.
“In particular, Haley said, those grounds include findings that Iran twice exceeded the amount of heavy water (a form of water in nuclear reactors) it was allowed to have. The Obama administration brushed off those incidents as minor technical infractions that were quickly resolved. Haley also blasted Iran’s refusal to allow international inspectors to check all of its military facilities. She also alleged Iran has “hundreds of undeclared sites that have suspicious activity that [inspectors] haven’t looked at,” writes Politico.
“I’m not making the case for de-certifying,” said Haley at the meeting. “What I am saying is should [Trump] decide to de-certify he has grounds to stand on.”
Haley did not explicitly say that the U.S. should abandon the deal, but she said it’s time for the U.S. to stop turning a blind eye when it comes to Iran’s activities.
“What I want the United States to understand [is] we need to wake up,” said Haley.
She also said that Iran’s nuclear program “is not something that suddenly went away but is hiding behind an agreement that everyone is afraid to touch.”
Iran continues to claim that the country has not continued to develop its nuclear weapon program since signing the deal.
“The latest IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] quarterly report, dated Aug. 31, certified that Iran appears to be in compliance. The report noted that Tehran has not attempted to rebuild its disabled heavy-water reactor at Arak, which could produce weapons-grade plutonium,” writes LA Times.
Haley doubts that the inspectors have been really doing their jobs.
“How can we know if Iran is complying if inspectors cannot look everywhere they should look?” said Haley. “This is a jigsaw puzzle. You can’t just look at a few of the pieces and think you have the answers.”
Haley also points out that ballistic missiles, which is excluded from the deal, is another way the country is violating the U.N. resolutions.
“You can call it non-nuclear all you want: Missile technology cannot be separate from pursuit of a nuclear weapon,” said Haley.
She said that if Trump was to refuse to certify Iran’s compliance, it wouldn’t mean that the nuclear deal would be automatically killed. Instead, lawmakers would have to re-evaluate the deal in detail.
“If the president finds that he cannot in good faith certify Iranian compliance, he would initiate a process whereby we move beyond narrow technicalities and look at the big picture,” said Haley.
The Trump administration’s next deadline to certify Iran’s compliance is mid-October.
Author’s note: We have known all along that Iran is violating the treaty. Iran is just being sneakier about it and isn’t being policed like they should be. So what is stopping the country from developing its nuclear program? The deal offers Iran global sanctions relief, while the country is STILL developing its nuclear weapon program in (not so) secret.