US Ban on Plane Sales to Iran Runs Counter to JCPOA

Violet Powell
September 15, 2017

The Trump administration said Iran was in compliance in July, but President Trump has indicated he may not recertify compliance in October when the question comes up again.

The U.S. House of Representatives on September 13 voted to prevent sales of commercial aircraft to Iran.

In a speech last week, USA ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley laid out how and why the administration might decertify the agreement, citing Iran's other malign activities, such as support for terrorism.

During the presidential campaign, Trump labeled the agreement "the worst deal he'd ever seen".

Iran engages in harmful non-nuclear behavior that poses challenges to the United States and the region.

"Treasury will continue to take strong actions to counter Iran's provocations, including support for the IRGC-Qods Force and terrorist extremists, the ongoing campaign of violence in Syria, and cyber-attacks meant to destabilize the USA financial system", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a release on the department's website.

Bakhtiar said the Europeans do not want to be part of the USA game and be blamed for its collapse, urging them to pool their efforts to make the U.S. remain committed to the deal.

Two deadlines are approaching that may signal the fate of the 2015 nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

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"Iran is clearly in defiance of these obligations", Tillerson said, pointing to its support of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, cyber activity and testing of ballistic missiles. The agreement saw Iran sharply curtail its nuclear program and allow extensive inspections in return for the lifting of worldwide sanctions.

In addition, "sanctions never stopped Iran's nuclear program", argued Sherman, saying that the number of Iranian centrifuges grew to 19,000 under the old sanctions regime despite its crippling effect on the Iranian economy.

According to the Algemeiner, Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says the claim by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano that the IAEA is allowed to access military sites is false.

"The possibility that US -manufactured aircraft could be used as tools of terror is absolutely unacceptable and should not be condoned by the USA government", they wrote in a letter to Trump. If the president doesn't certify compliance, Congress has 60 days to decide whether to re-impose sanctions lifted under the agreement.

He also has said that inspectors need a reason to request access to undeclared sites, and the JCPOA section on access states that "if the IAEA has concerns [emphasis added] regarding undeclared nuclear materials or activities", then it can request to see undeclared - i.e., military - sites.

Colin Kahl, who served as an assistant to former USA president Barack Obama and national security adviser to former vice president Joe Biden, said the Iranians will maintain its "near-term strategy" of trying to drive a wedge between the United States and Europe.

The idea may meet more skepticism from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who cited the "good end" reached in the Iran accord in an interview published this week, saying the approach could be replicated in talks over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

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