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Iran deal's foes in US Congress may be its unlikely saviors

Iran deal's foes in US Congress may be its unlikely saviors

Officials familiar with the internal deliberations as well as informed sources outside the administration say they expect Mr Trump to tell lawmakers that the Iran deal is not in the USA national security interest despite Iran's technical compliance. The middle ground that these options supposedly represent is an illusion - their sole goal is to ensure that President Trump never withdraws from an agreement he has correctly called an embarrassment to the United States.

The deal, which gave Iran relief from economic sanctions in return for constraints on its nuclear program took effect in January 2016.

In his planned address, Trump is expected to declare that the deal is not in America's national interest.

Trump detests the certification requirement, which forces him to sign off every three months on an accord he has called the worst deal ever negotiated by America, according to the officials.

She said that USA would lose global trust "because a deal that America voted for just two years ago in the UN Security Council with a resolution unanimously adopted, a deal that America helped to shape enormously, enormously, would be rejected by the same country". Unilateral U.S. sanctions would entail stringent provisions applying to European Union companies that deal with Iran. Iran has said it may exit the deal if the US withdraws.

May's office said she and Trump spoke late Tuesday and both sides agreed their teams would remain in contact ahead of Trump's decision on the pact. Under a new version being negotiated with Congress, he would have to endorse the deal less frequency but the USA intelligence community would have to assess whether Iran is carrying out covert activity in facilities not visited by the IAEA.

Trump is also expected to seek amendments in the existing deal with respect to the requirement for the U.S. president to re-certify Iran's compliance every 90 days.

European allies have complained that the White House has not presented a plan on how to push back Iranian influence, particularly in Syria, where the Trump administration has insisted it did not want to get involved in the civil war, preferring to focus exclusively on fighting the Islamic State.

On Wednesday, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said that Iran is considering "various scenarios" in response to Trump's "probable withdrawal" from the worldwide nuclear deal. He also wants to toughen language on ballistic missiles and inspections.

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Watch Federica Mogherini's full interview with the NewsHour's Judy Woodruff on Wednesday.

Iran has said it is open in principle to further discussions, particularly with Europe, but has said its missile programme is non-negotiable.

Trump is CREATING A CRISIS if he decertifies.

Why does U.S. President Donald Trump want to scrap it?

"That means that while the French and others are also interested in curbing Iran's destabilizing activities, they may be less likely to follow (the U.S.) lead at the risk of the agreement blowing up", the official said.

"Congress and the administration need to be on the same page, and a major breakdown in the working relationship between one of the very few key Republicans on the Hill who works with Democrats and the president on Iran policy bodes very poorly", said Elizabeth Rosenberg, a former Treasury Department official now at the Center for a New American Security.

But it could be hard to get both Iran and its ally, Russia, back to the table for a new round of talks.

Congress requires the president to reevaluate - or certify - the deal every 90 days.

What exactly that will look like is still being determined, but it could include greater congressional oversight.

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