President Donald Trump plans to “decertify” the Iran nuclear deal next week, declaring the Obama-era pact not in US interests and launching a congressional review period on the accord, according to two senior US officials.
Trump is tentatively scheduled to unveil his plan during remarks a week from Thursday, though one official cautioned the timing could shift.
The decision, which was first reported by The Washington Post, stops short of completely scrapping the Iran deal, which Trump railed against on the campaign trail.
By decertifying the deal, Trump would kick the matter to Congress, which would then have 60 days to determine a path forward.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday the President had made a decision on the agreement and would announce it “soon.”
“The President’s team has presented a united strategy that the national security team all stands behind and supports,” she said.
On Tuesday, CNN reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker were spearheading efforts to amend US legislation regarding Iran to shift focus away from the nuclear issue — a move that could allow the US to stay in the multilateral nuclear deal forged in 2015 and also push back against Iran’s other destabilizing behavior, officials and diplomats said.
“Tillerson has said the problem with the JCPOA is not the JCPOA,” one senior administration official said, using the acronym for the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“It’s the legislation,” the official said. “Every 90 days the president must certify and its creates a political crisis. If the administration could put the nuclear deal in a corner, everyone could happily get back to work on dealing with everything else that is a problem with Iran.”