Trump, Putin, Pence, McCain hold first joint press conference on Iran deal
President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were the first U.S. officials to speak publicly about the nuclear deal struck with Iran on July 14.
But Trump is also facing questions about his administration’s response to the deal, including its failure to enforce sanctions against Iran and its refusal to provide information about the country’s ballistic missile program.
The president has criticized the Iran deal on multiple occasions, and his top aide, Kellyanne Conway, has publicly said that the administration “has been inconsistent and incompetent in enforcing the agreement,” according to Axios.
Trump and his aides have also struggled to explain why the U.N. sanctions were lifted after the deal was signed.
In an interview with CBS News’ Charlie Rose, Trump was asked about the Iran agreement and said, “We had an agreement with Iran that was in place that was a bad deal for them, and we got rid of it.”
But Trump’s answer raises a more important question: Why did the U,N.
lift sanctions in the first place?
Trump’s response was a bit misleading: He claimed that the UN. had given Iran a “green light” to continue nuclear development, but the agreement had nothing to do with the country being allowed to develop nuclear weapons.
The deal was designed to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for a promise that Tehran would halt its support for terrorist groups and would sign a landmark nuclear deal with world powers.
But Trump’s administration has made clear that it was not satisfied with the deal.
Ns nuclear inspectors were supposed to have visited Iran for more than a year in an effort to verify its compliance with the agreement.
But when Trump took office, Iran had already declared it had fulfilled its obligations, according to the State Department.
Iran, however, was still subject to sanctions that are part of the agreement, such as the economic sanctions that limit Iranian access to U.K. financial institutions.
The Obama administration had not lifted sanctions in Iran for six months, and in December 2015, U.NSCEAR, the U-N.’s nuclear watchdog, said it had concluded that Iran had “completed all the measures necessary” for it to meet the terms of the deal with the U to “continue to provide the world with peaceful nuclear energy.”
That’s why Iran’s missile program was not suspended.
The Iran deal was not supposed to address the countrys long-standing and growing military threats, but Trump was quick to assert that the deal would “reinforce our national security,” a sentiment echoed by Pence, who added that the new agreement “will strengthen our alliances, strengthen our global influence and help us deter threats.”
The deal also gives Iran more latitude to pursue its nuclear program, with sanctions on the country lifted when the deal goes into effect.
Iran is expected to become a party to the agreement once it receives its green light, though it has not yet formally submitted its national nuclear program for verification.
The United States has been accused by many in the U.-S.
nuclear security community of using the Iran nuclear deal to stifle the U’s ability to monitor Iranian missile and ballistic missile programs.
Iran, in turn, has denied this claim, claiming that it is “a sovereign state with a right to peaceful nuclear activity” and has “no nuclear weapons programs at all.”
The Trump administration has been quick to defend the deal on the grounds that it will help keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons and that the United States will keep Iran in compliance with its agreement.
It’s unclear whether Trump has fully realized the full implications of his decision to lift sanctions on Iran, or whether he is still relying on the Obama administration’s assurances that he has no intention of dismantling the deal or making the deal more restrictive.
In his first press conference since signing the agreement on July 21, Trump said that he wanted to “put an end to the nuclear negotiations.”
But his statement could not have been clearer that Trump was still trying to score political points in the face of a growing threat from the Islamic Republic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.