ShareThis Page
World

Iran nuclear deal could collapse under Trump

| Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, 9:45 p.m.

The future of the historic nuclear agreement with Iran is in the air with the prospect that a Donald Trump administration could take steps that would cause Iran to abandon its commitments, experts said Wednesday.

Some characterized Trump's election as a death knell for the deal, which was reached in 2014 and put into effect in January. It imposes limits on Iran's nuclear program and its ability to build atomic weapons for at least 10 years in exchange for lifting most international sanctions.

“I think it's basically the end game for the deal,” said Richard Nephew, a Columbia University professor who was the lead sanctions expert on the U.S. negotiating team. “It's very hard for me to see, based on the rhetoric, letting it stand as is, or not doing something that forces the Iranians to walk away.”

Though it has been applauded by allies that negotiated alongside the United States — Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the European Union — the agreement has been heavily criticized in Congress. Republican lawmakers in particular say it has rewarded Iran for taking U.S. citizens prisoner and enabled the country's aggression in regional conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

“My No. 1 priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran,” Trump said in a speech to the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC during the campaign. He later said he would try to renegotiate the agreement and increase U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Iran is concerned enough about what Trump may do that senior officials Wednesday urged a Trump administration to live up to commitments made by the United States.

President Hassan Rouhani, a relative pragmatist who pushed for the deal hoping to open Iranian's reclusive society to the international economy, said Trump cannot change the agreement.

“Iran's understanding of the nuclear deal was that the accord was not concluded with one country or government but was approved by a resolution of the U.N. Security Council, and there is no possibility that it can be changed by a single government,” he said on Iran state television Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who negotiated the agreement on behalf of Iran, said the United States must stick to the agreed-upon details.

“Every U.S. president has to understand the realities of today's world,” he said Wednesday, as reported by the Tehran Times. “The most important thing is that the future U.S. president sticks to agreements, to engagements undertaken.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me