Trump Strikes Again, But Calls For Iran To Stop Ballistic Missiles

The unpredictable Donald Trump, in his attempt to defy other world powers, puts a front to the world by choosing not to certify that Tehran is indeed complying with the Iran nuclear agreement, even going to the extent of terminating it.

The update:

  • The U.S. President is projected to announce additional economic sanctions against Iran, calling it the “worst deal ever negotiated”
  • The Iran Nuclear Agreement limits Iran’s nuclear program for the trade-off of reduced economic sanctions
  • Mr. Trump announced a major shift in U.S. policy by detailing an offensive approach to Iran’s ballistic missile programs and its support for extremist groups in the Middle East

Donald Trump has accused Iran of “not living up to the spirit” of the nuclear agreement, assuring the public that Tehran never obtained a nuclear weapon. In his speech, Trump criticized Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps by suggesting that he will sanction Tehran for destabilizing actions in Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

The agreement originates from preventing Iran’s development of a nuclear bomb. Although the President has not pulled the U.S. out of the agreement, Trump has given Congress two months to decide whether to impose economic sanctions on Tehran. Not only does this act increase tension with Iran, but Washington would be pinned against the fort of Britain, France and Germany as well. Trump threatened that if “we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated.” As a result, the U.S. military is reviewing the “entire breadth” of its security cooperation activities and plans of a new strategy.

“We are identifying new areas where we will work with allies to put pressure on the Iranian regime, neutralize its destabilizing influences, and constrain its aggressive power projection, particularly its support for terrorist groups and militants,” says Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a spokesman for Pentagon.

President Hassan Rouhani responded to Trump, saying that Tehran was committed to the deal and rebutted that Trump’s accusations were baseless. However, he assures that “Iran and the deal are stronger than ever.”

The international community has mixed responses towards such a shift. The European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini asserted that the U.S. cannot unilaterally cancel the deal between Iran and other world powers. Ms. Mogherini asserted that, “We cannot afford, as the international community, to dismantle a nuclear agreement that is working”. She stipulates that the deal is not a bilateral agreement and the international community has indicated that the deal will remain in place.

On the other hand, Mr. Trump’s hostile announcement was praised by politicians from countries like Saudi Arabia that have strained relationships with Iran. Saudi’s state news agency SPA reports that ever since the lifting of the economic sanctions, Iran has developed its ballistic missile program and supported militant groups. It alleged that Iran capitalized on the additional funding to support for Lebanese Shi’ite movement Hezbollah and the Houthi group in Yemen. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended Mr. Trump, seeing an opportunity to change the 2015 nuclear deal and Iranian conduct.

The world awaits the verdict from Congress in regard to the actions of the US in the nuclear deal amidst the volatile geopolitical climate with various levels of international threats.

Karen Cheung