U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the White House.
(photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)
The Trump administration announced on Friday that it would keep an international nuclear deal with Iran in place for the time being, whilst rolling out a strategic plan to renegotiate some of its most controversial provisions.
In a policy fact sheet, the administration said the 2015 agreement "myopically" focuses on Iran's nuclear work at the exclusion of other activities. "The Trump administration will not repeat these mistakes," it reads, referring to the policies of the preceding Obama administration.
Trump will lay out his full plan in a speech this afternoon.
The US plans to target the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as part of its new policy to prevent a nuclear Iran and halt Tehran’s aggressive behavior, including its ballistic missile program and its support for global terrorism.
"The deal must be strictly enforced," the administration added, while pointing what it sees as its weaknesses: "The Iranian regime’s activities severely undercut whatever positive contributions to 'regional and international peace and security' the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) sought to achieve."
The administration is particularly concerned with the JCPOA's failure to address Iran's ballistic missile work— a topic hotly debated in the 2013-2015 nuclear talks— and with its "sunset clauses," or expiration dates on limits and caps on Iran's nuclear work.
“The reckless behavior of the Iranian regime, and the IRGC in particular, poses one of the most dangerous threats to the interests of the United States and to regional stability,” the statement read.
“We will deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon.”
The policy paper indicates that it is Iran’s general belligerency and particularly the regional machinations of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that the administration is seeking to put an end to.
“The IRGC’s power and influence have grown over time, even as it has remained unaccountable to the Iranian people, answering only to [Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei. It is hard to find a conflict or a suffering people in the Middle East that the IRGC’s tentacles do not touch,” reads the paper.
Detailing a list of grievances, including the IRGC’s arming of Syria’s dictator president, undermining the war against ISIS in Syria, supporting the Houthis in Yemen and threatening terror attacks on US soil, the document states that the administration will work with allies to “constrain this dangerous organization, for the benefit of international peace and security, regional stability, and the Iranian people.”
''We will revitalize our traditional alliances and regional partnership as bulwarks against Iranian subversion and restore a more stable balance of power in the region,'' the statement reads. It accuses Iran of ''unrelenting hostility to Israel,'' as well as ''grievous human rights abuses'' and ''cyber-attacks against the United States, Israel and America's other allies and partners in the Middle East.''
'Ripping up' the Iran deal was one of the main tenets of Trump's presidential campaign. Though Trump is 'de-certifying' the deal, he leaves the aftermath of his decision up to Congress, which will need to decide the future of American policy with regards to the accord.