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US officials warn Trump on Iran deal withdrawal

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Aug 9, IRNA -- Forty-eight US former and incumbent officials in a statement warned US President Donald Trump over political and security consequences of withdrawing from Iran nuclear deal also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the National Interest Website reported.

'Reports indicate that President Donald Trump may refuse to certify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA in October, which could lead to restoring sanctions against Iran that were suspended in 2015 in accordance with the agreement. Doing so would bring the United States–rather than Iran–into noncompliance with the agreement,' the statement reads.

'Continue to certify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA as long as the IAEA, the United States and other nations determine that Iran is meeting its commitments,' The American signatories offered.

The signatories also proposed a new consultative body comprising Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, Turkey, the United States, China and the European Union to begin regular exchanges on the major disputes in the area.

'Begin discussions with other JCPOA Joint Commission members on options for a follow-on agreement that would, after the expiration of JCPOA, add further guarantees to assure that Iran will not have the capacity to build a nuclear weapon far into the future,' US officials suggested.

The statement was inked by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and Ambassador to Greece Nicholas Burns (ret.), Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins,(ret.) Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs and Director of Policy Planning and Arms Control at the Department of Defense Leslie Gelb, U.S. House of Representatives and Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee Lee H. Hamilton, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran John Limbert (ret.) and some other officials.

US Senators on July 27 voted 98-2 on a bill, which would give Congress the ability to block American President Donald Trump from lifting the Russia sanctions. It also includes new penalties against Iran and North Korea.

Sens. Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voted against the bill, with Sanders saying on Twitter that 'following Trump's comments that he won't recertify Iran's compliance with the nuclear agreement I worry new sanctions could endanger it.'

Meanwhile on July 26, Iran Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said the US Congress, by imposing the non-nuclear sanctions, has turned a blind eye on the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and put at risk the successful implementation of the multilateral, international agreement.

He referred to the 'longstanding hostility' of the US Congress toward Iran, and said, 'Iran has acted in compliance with the deal, as acknowledged by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and G5+1.

'So we expect other parties of the deal to fulfill their commitments,' the Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Iran has reviewed the bill and found its content against the spirit and letter of the JCPOA, Qasemi said.

Earlier, Former White House staff member Ben Rhodes in a message said that President Donald Trump administration has no way to escape acknowledging Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal.

"They can't escape the fact that Iran is complying with the deal; they did the same thing last time," Rhodes said in his twitter message on July 17 referring to the Iran deal, also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

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