Trump's ire at Iran was clear during a White House background briefing call late Monday which emphasized that Iran was "unquestionably in default of the spirit" of the nuclear agreement and described the country as "one of the most unsafe threats to US interests and to regional security", and would still be subject to increased sanctions for its ballistic missile program and other malign influence.
Senior administration officials said Monday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will advise Congress that Iran has met the conditions of the nuclear deal, based on information the United States now has available.
The Donald Trump administration may not dump the Iran deal as the President had promised as a candidate but, in a move India will be tracking closely, it will enforce it more strictly and hold Teheran accountable for its "malign behaviour". With the certification Monday, he stopped short of unraveling the agreement unilaterally. "At the moment, the policy remains, still under review. His commitment to fixing those flaws remains steadfast", one senior official said.
The new sanctions on the Tehran regime are based on existing two executive orders, one dealing with weapons of mass destruction and the other concerned with transnational criminal networks, the Treasury Department explained.
The official criticized Tehran for a number of faults including support of terrorism that were not included in the nuclear deal that, comprehensively, keep Iran "one of the most unsafe threats" and "severely undermine the intent of the JCPOA".
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The Iranian parliament introduced the bill as a response to the U.S. Senate's bill targeting Russian Federation and Iran with new sanctions, which was passed on June 15 and still awaits a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"We judge that these Iranian activities severely undermine the intent of the agreement as a force for global stability", the administration official said.
The Iranians, on the other hand, have to keep allowing inspections of their nuclear sites and limit their stockpile of low-enriched uranium over the lifespan of the deal, which expires in the next 8 to 13 years. He's right, for the excellent reason that Iran is not, in fact, complying with the agreement. But he said Iran's courts are "independent" and "we in the government do not have any control over the decisions of the judiciary". "Iran has been less than forthcoming, walking up to the edge of violating the [accord]". That behavior has to stop.
"We need them to make sure that another Saddam Hussein around the corner will not come and hit us again", he said.
Behind the scenes, advisers argued that there was no alternative but to recertify the deal for now because the past sanctions regime the United States had with European allies against Iran is no longer in place and unilateral sanctions are not as effective as multi-lateral ones. Opponents of the deal, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, emphasize Iran's continued ballistic missile activity and nefarious influence in the middle east. To become law, the legislation must pass the House and be signed by Mr. Trump.