President Trump will “decertify” the Iran nuclear deal next week, allowing Congress to decide how to proceed with the deal that he once promised to “rip up,” according to multiple reports.
In a speech planned for Thursday, October 12, Trump will announce that the deal, which provides Iran with sanctions relief in exchange for limits to its nuclear program, is no longer in the best interest of the United States. That will kick the issue to Congress, which will have 60 days to take next steps. If one of those next steps is to reinstitute sanctions on Iran, then the deal will be dead.
The 2015 deal was negotiated by the Obama administration, alongside other major global powers, and Trump has always hated it. Over the years he has called the deal a “complete catastrophe” and “the worst deal ever,” among other things.
On Wednesday, Politico described the White House strategy as “wounding” the Iran deal. Trump, the report says, will not suggest Congress pass new sanctions, which would dissolve the deal. Instead, after decertifying it, the White House will try to strengthen the deal. There’s a problem with that approach though. Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani has said it’s a nonstarter. After Trump railed against the deal yet again in a speech to the United Nations last month, Rouhani said “clearly and definitively” that “the nuclear deal cannot be renegotiated.”