By staff and agency

U.S. wants to kill nuclear deal before Nov. election: Fitzpatrick

May 30, 2020 - 18:44

Writing an article in the tank Atlantic Council on Friday, Mark Fitzpatrick said the Trump administration is bent on to fully destroy the 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the JCPOA, before the presidential election in November.

The comments came as U.S. Secretary State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday announced the end of waivers that allowed countries to cooperate with Iran on civil nuclear projects under the 2015 nuclear deal.

“The Trump administration wants to kill off the JCPOA before then. When asked in a May 14 interview about Democratic Party presumptive presidential candidate Joe Biden seeking to revive the JCPOA, Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook boasted that there would not be much left of it to rejoin. It is a scorched earth policy,” wrote Fitzpatrick, an associate fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies IISS. 

“Trump and Pompeo claim that their goal is to pressure Iran into renegotiating a new, ‘better’ deal. But they show little interest and even less aptitude in actually negotiating with Tehran. Putting Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on the Treasury blacklist certainly was not an action intended to further prospects for talks. Neither was assassinating Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. Nor has the Trump team made any observable effort to bring European partners to its side in prospective bargaining,” Fitzpatrick noted.

Fitzpatrick who had a 26-year career in the U.S. Department of State, including as deputy assistant secretary for non-proliferation, added, “As Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Sam Rayburn said, ‘any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.’ The Trump administration is good at kicking down the JCPOA barn. They know nothing about carpentry.”

U.S. President Donald Trump quit the agreement, negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama, in May 2018, and slapped the harshest sanctions in history against Iran.

The former IISS director also said the current U.S. administration is seeking to goad Iran into taking further steps that can be castigated as provocative and contribute to snapback UN sanctions.

Exactly one year after Trump unilaterally and illegally quit the nuclear agreement and imposed the harshest ever sanctions in history, including a total oil embargo, against the Islamic Republic, Iran started to gradually reduce its commitments to the JCPOA at bi-monthly intervals. However, seeing on action on the part of the European Union, Iran took the last step on January 5 and removed all bans introduced under the JCPOA. 

Iran has repeatedly said if the remaining parties to the deal honor their commitments, it will immediately reverse its decisions.


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