US to remain in JCPOA for ‘time being’: Tillerson

Tasnim – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson softened President Donald Trump’s typically harsh stance on the JCPOA, saying that Washington would remain in the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers “for the time being”.

“We have concerns about whether that agreement’s going to deliver on its objective but for the time being, we’re in agreement,” Tillerson said addressing dozens of US diplomats, according to Daily News.

He added, “As you know, the President made a decision to ask the Congress to take a look at this agreement and express their views on it through our domestic law, INARA (Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act). And the Congress is examining the agreement to see are there things they’d like to ask us to do – additional requirements – to strengthen the US’s view of this agreement…”.

The US Congress is about to miss a deadline for taking action on the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), ignoring President Trump’s demands for a harder line on the agreement.

A Republican legislative push to establish new “triggers” that could re-impose harsh sanctions on Iran lifted under the Obama-era deal has gone nowhere ahead of Tuesday — the end of a 60-day unofficial deadline set by the administration for Capitol Hill to weigh in on the situation after Trump declared he could no longer certify that the accord was in the US national interest.

Congressional aides say lawmakers still have time to propose something before Trump is mandated to decide again whether to weigh in on the deal, but White House aides say the president is rankled by the lack of progress on Capitol Hill and likely will pull the United States out of the deal entirely when it comes up for review on January 13.

In October, Trump called on Congress to propose ways to address what he called the deal’s “serious flaws”.

According to a law enacted by Congress in 2015, the president must certify every 90 days that Iran is honoring the deal. Trump, in the early days of his administration, twice formally certified Iran’s compliance, but he clearly chafed at seeming to endorse an agreement that he harshly criticized on the campaign trail last year.

He made clear his unhappiness when announcing his Iran deal decision two months ago.

“In the event, we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated,” Trump said on October 13. The deal “is under continuous review, and our participation can be canceled by me, as president, at any time.”

The 159-page nuclear agreement was reached in July 2015 and came into force in January 2016.

Since the historic deal was signed in Vienna, the IAEA has repeatedly confirmed the Islamic Republic’s compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, but some other parties, especially the US, have failed to live up to their undertakings.