As the deadline approaches, Trump must decide whether to decertify or not

The nuclear deal with Iran has always been an imperfect agreement. Now the US president must decide what to do with it

The new Iranian long range missile Khoramshahr (front) is displayed during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of its devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, on September 22,2017 in Tehran.
Rouhani vowed that Iran would boost its ballistic missile capabilities despite criticism from the United States and also France. / AFP PHOTO / str
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The stance US president Donald Trump has adopted towards the nuclear deal with Iran leaves little room for speculation, and though his predecessor's foreign policy towards Iran was clearly shaped by the agreement, it is a legacy Mr Trump finds wanting. Before the end of the week, he will have to decide whether or not to decertify the 2015 nuclear deal forged by the P5+1 with Iran. It is one he describes as one of "the worst deals ever".

Over the past three months, several events have put it at risk. In an act of defiance, Tehran launched mid-range ballistic missiles targeting Deir Ezzor in Syria in June, and though its intention was to target ISIL, it was symbolically sending a message to the US. Its launch closely followed a bill's passage through the US senate to impose sanctions on individuals involved with Iran’s ballistic missile programme.

On the sidelines of the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York last month, Hassan Rouhani, Iran's president, warned the US that abandoning the agreement would backfire. Several signatories of the deal have clearly voiced their support and stepped up efforts to ensure the landmark deal is maintained. Britain's Theresa May and Boris Johnson have actively intervened with Washington and Tehran to stress its importance when it comes to regional stability and security, reiterating the necessity for all parties to maintain their commitments.

But that is not all. Iran has long stirred trouble in the region, directly or indirectly impacting the stability and security of its neighbours in the Middle East and in the GCC.

Should Mr Trump refrain from certifying Iran's compliance with the nuclear accord by October 15, he could provoke a serious international crisis.  But should he go ahead and accredit it, he would be acknowledging that the deal as it stands allows Iran to hold too many cards.


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