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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Can Trump rip up the Iran deal? Easier said than done!

Can Trump rip up the Iran deal? Easier said than done

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to tear up the Iran nuclear deal, the signature diplomatic breakthrough of Barack Obama’s second term. 
As president-elect, Trump has been more circumspect, and the United States would face serious international fallout if he made good on his threat. 
Signed in Vienna in July 2015 and in force since January, the agreement was made possible by 18 months of back-channel talks between Washington and arch-foe Tehran in 2012 and 2013. 
But it was also, after the negotiations became public, a two-year joint effort for the so-called P5+1 — Britain, France, Germany, Russia, the US and the EU.

And, once these powers and Iran signed it, the United Nations Security Council endorsed it as international law It was not uncontroversial.
In Washington, however, the deal is still a political football. One of Trump’s foreign policy advisers, Walid Phares, told the BBC that “ripping up is maybe a too strong of word” but that the deal would be renegotiated by the incoming administration. 
Whether this would amount to anything concrete remains to be seen. “The United States cannot unilaterally void or amend the agreement without violating international law,” argued Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council.

“Any effort to directly kill the deal — or even renegotiate it — will isolate the United States, and not Iran,” he wrote in an op-ed for the Foreign Policy website. 
The European Union’s head of international affairs, Federica Mogherini, has already sought to remind Trump that the Iran deal is a “multilateral accord,” not a US bargaining chip. 
But the US electorate has chosen a leader with no foreign policy experience. What he decides to do will only become clear after his inauguration, in January. — AFP

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