What Will the US Policy on Iran Be?

Smoke billows above what is believed to be a burning village in Myanmar's Rakhine state as members of the Rohingya Muslim minority take shelter in a no-man's land between Bangladesh and Myanmar in Ukhia

US Extends Sanctions Waivers for Iran, Maintains Cautious Position on Nuclear Deal's Future

The combination of steps-known internally as "waive and slap"-came as the administration nears completion of a monthslong review of its Iran policy that is expected next month, perhaps as early as October 15 when Trump must inform Congress if Iran is complying with the terms of the nuclear agreement and whether the deal remains in United States national security interests".

The Iranian leader threatened a harsh response to any attempt by the United States to alter the nuclear deal.

Trump has repeatedly threatened to rip up the deal, arguing that it provides the Iranian regime with billions that it can use on expanding its support for proxy groups opposed to the USA and its allies across the Middle East. Thus far he has done so; however, earlier this week, Trump accused Iran of violating "the spirit" of the deal.

"The future of Syria will be determined by talks and ultimately the opposition must reach an agreement with the government and the will of people would be the ballot box should ultimately determine what happens", Rouhani told CNN. If he decides that Tehran is not, Congress could vote to reimpose sanctions on Iran.

Senior administration officials said the move was meant to signal a willingness to confront Iran over behavior it finds to be out of sync with the deal, despite the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations group assigned to monitor the deal, indicating that Iran has been in compliance. Walking away from the deal would mean assuming more of a unilateral "world's policeman" role for the USA, something Trump eschewed on the campaign trail. This conclusion was underscored by Daniel Coats, Donald Trump's Director of National Intelligence, who stated in the May 2017 Worldwide Threat Assessment, that the JCPOA has "enhanced the transparency of Iran's nuclear activities" and "extended the amount of time Iran would need to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon from a few months to about a year".

He further highlighted the significant role that Iranian expatriates can play in development of the country, calling on the Iranians overseas to get involved in academic and economic interaction with the Iranian centers and make investment in homeland.

Trump is obligated to reassure Congress that Iran is complying with the document every 90 days.

Either way, Iran has warned it will not be bullied into submission by the US. "One such example was how Iran immediately released the 52 American hostages after learning Ronald Reagan was elected to the United States presidency back in 1980, knowing his policies would far contrast those of Jimmy Carter".

"European powers have been committed to the deal". Many doubt Congress could be pulled back from the brink in such a scenario, even though many lawmakers understand there are few actions that would be more damaging to US diplomatic credibility. A superficial nod to diplomacy combined with a "tough" new posture towards Iran is just the kind of risky half measure that can pass for policy in such politically tenuous circumstances. "Iran's longstanding program to develop ballistic missiles continues to be inconsistent with (the UN Security Council Resolution 2231) and has a destabilising effect in the region".

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