National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and several of President Trump's other senior advisers have spent the last several months coming up with a plan that takes into account Trump's anger over the Iran nuclear deal without completely killing the agreement, seven people with knowledge of the situation told The Washington Post.
President Donald Trump says he will "very shortly" announce his decision on USA participation in the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, as aides prepare for an end-of-the-week rollout.
Yet Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency reported Wednesday that the country's foreign minister said Tehran "will never" renegotiate the deal. He also is expected to target the country's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard with new sanctions.
Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., who voted against the agreement two years ago, said at a hearing Wednesday that US interests are best served by keeping the deal and aggressively policing the agreement to ensure Iran doesn't violate the terms.
Trump is expected to declare this week that Iran is not complying with the pact and to unveil a tough new strategy toward Iran.
Trump has called the deal forged during the Obama administration one of the nation's "worst and most one-sided transactions" ever and threatened during the presidential campaign to tear the pact up. He must recertify the measure by October 15 because of unilateral conditions set by Congress.
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Engel said the USA must "live up to our word".
Johnson said the agreement - under which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions - "was the culmination of 13 years of painstaking diplomacy and has increased security, both in the region and in the UK". Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said at the same hearing that the deal is still in the US national security interest.
The Foreign Office said Johnson also spoke to Zarif and will meet Ali Akhbar Salehi, Iran's vice president and head of its nuclear agency, in London on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Salehi warned Washington against undermining the 2015 deal, saying worldwide nonproliferation efforts as well as Washington's global standing would suffer as a result. Representative Ed Royce, Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the Trump administration should preserve the deal to protect United States national security, even though he opposed the deal at the time.
Instead, these officials said Trump is more inclined to throw the matter to Congress and push legislators to amend the law that requires the president to certify Iran's compliance every 90 days. But Trump more recently has said he does not expect to certify Iran's compliance with the October deadline looming.