Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 11
By Azer Ahmadbayli – Trend:
For almost 40 years the Islamic Republic has been going through a number of survival tests. Now, the next stage of testing its endurance is coming. The examiner is President Trump, who should decide in a couple of days whether to destroy the Iran nuclear agreement and revive the sanctions regime or not.
The opinions of readers and experts are divided again between "Trump will kill the deal" and "he will not". To answer the question, no need to exaggerate value of words, but assess the facts.
When it comes to distinguishing between rhetoric and facts, they are sometimes mistaken for one another.
For instance, a statement of the French President Macron that support of protests in Iran by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia could instigate a war, is rhetoric. Words of former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Israel should be wiped from Earth were rhetoric too. But presence of militants, associated with Iran, in the vicinity of Syria-Israeli border is not rhetoric and could lead to real war.
President Trump likes rhetoric, but sometimes his words turn into action. He is about to decide on Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, and whether to waive Iran sanctions that should confirm the US compliance to the deal.
It looks like Trump will decertify the nuclear deal once again, or abolish the certification procedure at all, as Iran ignored all US directives to “abandon its malign and aggressive activities” since the last assessment, and there is no sense to decertify it over and over again.
Trump is in the lead, as he has already taken up favorable position when he announced that “it [the agreement] is under continuous review and our participation can be canceled by me as President at any time.”
It means that any time frames and/or fixed dates turn to be meaningless to a larger extent, and Iran should expect to hear bad news any minute, which, in turn, increases pressure on Tehran.
Instead of certification procedure, Trump will focus on the renewal of sanctions waivers, which is much more crucial, as it concerns multiple economic relations of a large number of Iran’s trade partners. But for the moment it seems that Trump is going to take a short brake and keep the waivers for a while.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the Associated Press during his interview last week that the White House is working with lawmakers on a legislative fix that could allow the U.S. to remain in the Iran nuclear deal.
“The president said he is either going to fix it or cancel it,” Tillerson said. “We are in the process of trying to deliver on the promise he made to fix it,” Tillerson noted.
This implies that “we give you another chance to step back and agree to our terms.”
But whatever the “legislative fix” contains, it’s clear that for Iran it will be a choice between bad and really bad, and will be rejected.
To answer the question if Trump will cancel the nuclear deal or not, we should also remember his other words, that the deal, in its current form, threatens the US national security. It involves inter alia the security of Israel and control over the entire Persian Gulf region.
Iran, as it is seen from Washington, continues to pose a serious threat to both. So the answer may be - if the current conditions remain unchanged - Trump will cancel the deal in the end, even without looking back at his European allies. And Tehran knows it.