US officials and others familiar with the administration's deliberations told The Associated Press that Trump is likely to back the accord for now but that he may pair his decision with new, targeted sanctions on Iranian businesses and people. This might test Tehran's willingness to abide by its side of the bargain.
The Trump administration is up against a deadline on whether to reinstate sanctions against Iran. All of the other participants in the deal - including U.S. allies in Europe have said Iran is honoring the agreement and that they oppose ending or reopening it. The president came close to making such a promise in a tweet on New Year's Day that began with "Iran is failing at every level despite the awful deal made with them by the Obama Administration" and ended with the exclamation "TIME FOR CHANGE!" The individuals with knowledge of Trump's plans say the president isn't planning to reinstate either at this point.
The six sources, who were not allowed to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity, said Trump could still reject the recommendation from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other top aides and that no final decision had been made. He took the same action in October in the last round of waivers, passing the decision on whether to impose additional sanctions on Iran to Congress.
A representative for the group said: "We are shocked that the representative of a religious dictatorship that has committed so many crimes is being invited as a guest to Europe, This is a shameful act which sends a wrong signal and hurts the suffering Iranian people".
In a telephone conversation with Trump on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated "the determination of France to support the strict implementation of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and the importance of it being respected by all signatories", said the Elysee Palace. Peaceful demonstration and freedom of expression are fundamental rights that apply to every country, and Iran is no exception. Waiving those restrictions was required under the agreement that Iran reached with world powers in exchange for curbing its nuclear program, and reimposing them would effectively scuttle the deal.
The complexity of Iran's internal dynamics ought to inform Trump's calculus.
They tapped into anger over the fact that the bulk of the Iranian people have yet to see the economic dividends of Rouhani's attempted reforms.
According to Steinberg, "There is always a tradeoff".
Agence France Presse reported on Monday that Iranian officials had warned the global community to be prepared for American withdrawal, adding that the Islamic Republic was already prepared for "any scenario". The country is in the process of changing. 'The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years.
"You're going to be finding out very soon". If they don't push back against Trump's efforts to sabotage the agreement, they will continue to get pushed around as the deal dies from a million paper cuts rather than a shotgun wound. He has particularly bristled at having to give Iran a "thumbs up" every few months by acknowledging that it is meeting the requirements to invest in foreign banks, sell petroleum overseas, buy U.S. and European aircraft, and so forth.
In one possible compromise, Trump could choose not to reimpose the sanctions that were eased under the nuclear deal but could slap other punishments on Iran, a pattern he has followed over the past year.
These senior officials and congressmen do not actually oppose the JCPOA; they oppose it in its current form and claim to want to "fix" it.
She stressed that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had confirmed Tehran's compliance with the deal in nine reports. Before the recent protests in Iran, multiple Western diplomats had told me that waiver renewal was a long shot. Republican Sens. Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz want sanctions back if Iran launches any ballistic missiles capable of targeting territory outside of Iran, such as Israel or Saudi Arabia, and not just an intercontinental missile. "It's been four months and Congress has yet to deal with the issue".