Trump weighs ‘decertifying’ Iran nuclear deal

Donald Trump
Updated 04 October 2017
0

Trump weighs ‘decertifying’ Iran nuclear deal

Washington: President Donald Trump has railed against a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program, but officials say that far from scrapping it, he is considering kicking the decision to Congress.
Ahead of an Oct. 15 deadline, several officials familiar with White House deliberations told AFP Trump has made it clear he does not want to certify Iran’s compliance with the accord.
The 2015-era Obama agreement offered Tehran relief from punitive economic sanctions, in return for limits to uranium enrichment and intrusive inspections.
Every 90 days Trump must decide whether Iran is living up to its end of the bargain, something that has already caused him political pain on two occasions.
The Trump administration has publicly accused Iran of violating the “spirit” of the accord — known as the JCPOA — although some officials privately admit there is a thin line between testing the limits and a material breach.
Trump’s top military adviser, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Gen. James Dunford, has told Congress the briefings he has received “indicate that Iran is adhering to its JCPOA obligations.”
But Republicans are under domestic political pressure to fulfill campaign and donor promises to scrap the accord.
Trump has called the deal an “embarrassment to the United States” and had urged allies and fellow signatories in London, Paris and Berlin to renegotiate it, something they are unwilling to do.
But now a middle path is being explored, which would make Trump’s opposition clear, but stop short of scrapping the deal outright and perhaps clear the 90-day-review off his desk.
Under the plan, Trump could find Iran in breach or — less provocatively — refuse to certify Tehran’s compliance, giving Congress 60 days to decide whether to impose sanctions.
The issue has prompted fierce debate inside the administration, and with this mercurial president, anything is still possible between now and the deadline.
But “it seems like he was leaning that way,” said one official, echoing the accounts of others who refused to speak on the record, because of the sensitivity of the subject.


‘No-deal’ Brexit would hit trucks, airlines and pet owners — govt papers

Updated 41 min 32 sec ago
0

‘No-deal’ Brexit would hit trucks, airlines and pet owners — govt papers

  • Many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper an agreement
  • Without a deal, the UK would move to customs arrangements set by the WTO for external states with no preferential deals

LONDON: Leaving the European Union without a proper divorce deal could ground airlines, stop hauliers from lugging goods to the world’s biggest trading bloc and even make headaches for pet owners who want to take their dogs on holiday, according to government documents.
With just six months to go until the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, Prime Minister Theresa May has warned that negotiations are at an impasse and that the EU must come up with new proposals on how to craft a divorce settlement.
Many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper an agreement, thrusting the world’s fifth largest economy into a “no-deal” Brexit that they say would spook financial markets and silt up the arteries of trade.
Britain, which has warned it could leave without a deal, published 25 technical notices on Monday covering everything from commercial road haulage and buying timber to airline regulations and taking pets abroad.
“If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place, UK and EU licensed airlines would lose the automatic right to operate air services between the UK and the EU without seeking advance permission,” the government said.
Overall, the government has published more than 65 such notices giving a glimpse of what a no-deal Brexit — the nightmare scenario for chief executives of most multinationals operating in Britain — would look like.
Amid warnings that trucks could stack up on both sides of the English Channel in the confusion of a no deal, Britain said it would seek to strike bilateral agreements with European countries to ensure hauliers would retain access.
The notices covered a vast swathe of the British economy, warning, for example, that labels on packaged food would have to be changed.
“Use of the term ‘EU’ in origin labelling would no longer be correct for food or ingredients from the UK,” the government said.
Honey producers would have to change their labels while EU countries might not accept British mineral water, the government said.
In the worse case scenario for pet owners, dogs, cats and even ferrets might need health certificates and rabies jabs. Travel plans would have to be discussed with a vet at least four months in advance before traveling to the EU.
That would mean someone wanting to take their pet to the EU on March 30, 2019, the day after Britain leaves the bloc, would have to discuss the trip with a vet before the end of November.
Without a deal, the UK would move from seamless trade with the rest of the EU to customs arrangements set by the World Trade Organization for external states with no preferential deals.
Brexiteers accept there is likely to be some short-term economic pain but say the government is trying to scare voters about the impact of a no-deal Brexit.
Britain, many Brexiteers say, will thrive in the longer term if cut loose from what they see as a doomed experiment in German-dominated unity and excessive debt-funded welfare spending.