July 19, 2017 | The Tower

U.S. Finds Iran in Violation of Spirit of Nuclear Agreement, Imposes New Sanctions

The Trump administration told Congress on Monday that while Iran has met the conditions necessary to be recertified as complying with the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, it is violating “the spirit” of the pact through its destabilizing behavior across the Middle East.

President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and “the entire administration judge that Iran is unquestionably in default of the spirit” of the agreement, one official told the Associated Press.

Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, observed two years ago that the language of the deal gives Iran leverage to leave or threaten to leave it. The deal explicitly notes, “Iran has stated that if sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part.” While the accord was only meant to govern Iran’s nuclear program, its language appears to allow Iran to back out even in response to the imposition of non-nuclear sanctions.

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