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On Thursday, October 12th, Zachary Cohen of CNN reported on fear of potential consequences of decertification of the Iran nuclear deal. He cited Jake Sullivan, a top foreign policy advisor to Hillary Clinton who helped negotiate the original nuclear deal in 2015, and Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council, as two particular doubters of President Trump's potential approach to the deal. Sullivan, when testifying before the House Foreign Relations Committee, said that President Trump risked leaving America with the sole responsibility for whatever happens, a scenario similar to what America faces with North Korea. In a statement to CNN, Parsi said "The risks are too great to allow Trump to open up a nuclear Pandora's box in the Middle East. Trump's national security team, and all serious thinkers in Congress, must block the President from a failed certification before it is too late."
However, the view among many in President Trump's administration is the Iran nuclear deal will stay intact.
Eliana Johnson of Politico wrote on October 3rd of members of Trump's administration choosing from among three options to address the deal. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin favor recertification. U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and CIA Director Mike Pompeo have advocated for decertification of the deal. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and SECDEF James Mattis have been working on a campaign to assure Congress of applying pressure on Iran without breaking the Iran nuclear deal, particularly targeting the groups Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. After Trump's national security team gave a unanimous recommendation and it became clear the third option was gaining traction, Secretary Tillerson joined them in agreement. McMaster's review of the Iran nuclear deal is due October 31st.
The task remains to convince those Republican members of Congress who campaigned against the deal. According to advanced excerpts of his remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas expressed a desire to "begin the work of strengthening it and counteracting Iranian aggression, with the threat of sanctions and military action if necessary.”
Much consideration has gone into how to approach the Iran nuclear deal. It is clear that President Trump's administration has considered different paths forward, with many like SECDEF Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster advocating putting pressure on Iran without decertifying the deal. Also important to note is the desire to work with Congress to achieve the best decision. We need to be vigilant and tough while monitoring Iran's nuclear program, yet we must be considerate of the impact on the international community. Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council represents a significant demographic that the Trump Administration must be mindful of when handling diplomacy with Iran.
Iran and North Korea are real dangers in the issue of nuclear proliferation and must be handled accordingly. How America discusses diplomacy with these two nations is the standard by which the international community will determine its willingness to aid or oppose America in its pursuit of peace. To all who love freedom, America will lend a hand. To those who seek oppression, America will stand in opposition.
Going forward, my blogs will follow the pattern of this article, that of a concise summary of particular points from two different official sources and offering my thoughts in my own words.
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(Trump Iran deal plan risks opening nuclear 'Pandora's box')
(Trump prepares to wound Iran deal — and then save it )