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Trump Kicks Iran Deal Decisions Over to Congress

The president wants to appear to be doing something about the Iran deal.

LEIGH VOGEL/UPI/NewscomLEIGH VOGEL/UPI/NewscomPresident Donald Trump announced today that he would be "decertifying" the Iran deal.

He did not announce his intention to exit the deal (although he stressed that the deal gave him that authority, which is true), but rather called on Congress and America's allies to improve it. He highlighted what he sees as deficiencies in its enforcement mechanisms and with its power to restrain Iran's missile programs. He hinted that he would withdraw from the deal if it wasn't changed.

"Congress has already begun the work to address these problems," Trump insisted. "Key House and Senate leaders are drafting legislation that would amend the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act to strengthen enforcement, prevent Iran from developing an...intercontinental ballistic missile, and make all restrictions on Iran's nuclear activity permanent under U.S. law."

Trump's move essentially keeps the Iran deal a domestic issue for now, relying on Congress to act.

The appeal to allies, in spite of Trump's claim that he had consulted them extensively, is a nonstarter. The leaders of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom released a joint statement reiterating their commitment to the existing deal and expressing concern about Trump's decision. They did say they shared some of his concerns, opening the door for some minor changes that could placate Trump while keeping the deal intact.

If the U.S. does exit the deal, it would not collapse. The U.S. could reimpose sanctions unilaterally, but they would not be joined by their allies, nor by China and Russia, the other two parties to the Iran talks.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani correctly noted this, describing the U.S. as increasingly "isolated."

The Daily Beast reported this week that National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster told Democrats he wanted the Iran agreement "out of sight and out of mind." Today's decision comports with that.

Much of the uncertainty over the Iran deal could have been avoided had it been treated as a treaty. While it would have been harder to get such a deal through, it would also be far more secure. Trump's behavior should make clear why treaties are preferable to "executive agreements" that rely on the whimsy and political calculations of whoever happens to be president at the time.

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  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Everyone in Congress is probably super pissed that they got given work on Fun-Day-Friday.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Psh. They'll just blow it off and deal with it... probably not Monday, but maybe by Tuesday afternoon. Or Wednesday, depending.

  • Tony||

    That's pretty much how I roll at work.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If the U.S. does exit the deal, it would not collapse. The U.S. could reimpose sanctions unilaterally, but they would not be joined by their allies, nor by China and Russia, the other two parties to the Iran talks.

    And our president strikes another blow against the globalists!

  • John||

    Why is there any reason to deal with it? Reason shilled for this piece of crap That has now gone down the memory hole and the big meany Trump isn't dealing with the deal Reason assured everyone was so fabulous

  • mtrueman||

    "Why is there any reason to deal with it? "

    To appease our Israeli and Saudi partners. Only it backfired, apparently. They must have thought that Obama would never have managed to seal the deal. Now the ruse has failed them, the deal can be scrapped. It was never more than a pretext, anyway.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    They must have thought that Obama would never have managed to seal the deal.

    It was an executive agreement -- all he had to do was say yes. Also calling it a "deal" is a bit of a stretch; it' was a gift.

  • Tony||

    This douchecanoe couldn't keep a casino open. Let's not assume this is him expertly using leverage more than it is the product of a severe case of advanced dementia.

  • Mark Milton||

    And yet he beat Hillary and became the leader of the free world.

    Or are we not calling it that anymore?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Low bar.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    Iran's President Hassan Rouhani correctly noted this, describing the U.S. as increasingly "isolated."

    We're also not joined by our allies in having a constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech; so I guess we're "isolated" there too. Perhaps we should pitch that quaint amendment to join the rest of the First World as well?

    Also unsurprising to see Reason joining their corporate media pals in praising Rouhani. I almost threw up watching CNN accord respect to Rouhani's speech today that they would never think of giving Trump. As many bad things as there are about Trump, there is no comparison between him and the Iranian govt.

  • Trigger Warning||

    President Camacho should consider sending the Persians pallets of Brawndo. They would be more amenable to reason if they had more electrolytes.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    Airdrop pallets of lubricant, condoms, and Hustler magazines into the countryside and see how Islamic the republic truly is.

  • damikesc||

    Much of the uncertainty over the Iran deal could have been avoided had it been treated as a treaty

    Because it would not have passed.

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