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STORY story962903 Latest (Donald Trump expected to abandon Iran nuclear deal next week) english STORY https://hypegram.com/story?q=962903 /storyImage/962903 Fri Oct 06 2017 16:16:41 GMT+0000 (UTC) {}

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The Guardian
254 d ago
Donald Trump expected to abandon Iran nuclear deal next week
President adds to Washington’s mood of uncertainty by warning of ‘calm before storm’ but refusing to say what he means
Donald Trump is expected to withdraw his endorsement of the nuclear deal with Iran next week, leaving its survival uncertain and in the hands of a divided Congress.
Adding to the mood of uncertainty hanging over Washington, Trump used a group photograph before a dinner with military leaders and their spouses to warn cryptically that the evening represented “the calm before the storm”.
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The Wall Street Journal
254 d ago
Trump Expected to Refuse to Certify Iran's Compliance on Nuclear Deal
President Donald Trump is expected to refuse to certify that Tehran is complying with the 2015 international nuclear agreement, a move that would place key decisions about the deal’s future before Congress.
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BBC
254 d ago
Trump might 'abandon Iran nuclear deal'
The US president must tell Congress by 15 October whether he thinks Iran is complying with the agreement.
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CNN
254 d ago
Trump's expected move to decertify Iran deal lets him save face and lawmakers deal with fallout
President Donald Trump has a message to Republicans in Congress -- you don't like the Iran nuclear deal, so you deal with it.
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ABC
254 d ago
Trump expected to 'decertify' Iran nuclear deal next week
The objective would be to raise the temperature on Iran, U.S. officials said.
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Reuters
254 d ago
Trump expected to decertify Iran nuclear deal, official says
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump is expected to announce soon that he will decertify the landmark international deal to curb Iran's nuclear program, a senior administration official said on Thursday, in a step that potentially could cause the 2015 accord to unravel.
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254 d ago
Trump to Force Congress to Act on Iran Nuclear Deal
President Trump has been expected to withdraw certification of the nuclear deal since he declared at the United Nations General Assembly that the agreement was “embarrassing to the United States.”
CNN
254 d ago
Trump plans to 'decertify' Iran nuclear deal next week
President Donald Trump plans to "decertify" the Iran nuclear deal next week, declaring the Obama-era pact not in US interests and launching a congressional review period on the accord, according to two senior US officials.
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255 d ago
Trump reportedly plans to 'decertify' Iran nuclear deal
President Trump will announce next week that he will "decertify" the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
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CNN
255 d ago
Sources: Trump to decertify Iran deal next week
CNN's Jim Sciutto reports on the reported move by the Trump administration
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CNN
255 d ago
Officials: Trump to 'decertify' nuclear deal
President Donald Trump plans to "decertify" the Iran nuclear deal next week, declaring the Obama-era pact not in US interests and launching a congressional review period on the accord, according to two senior US officials.
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Reuters
255 d ago
Trump expected to decertify Iran nuclear deal: official
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump is expected to announce soon that he will decertify the landmark international deal to curb Iran's nuclear program, a senior administration official said on Thursday, in a step that could lead to renewed U.S. sanctions against Tehran.
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Reuters
255 d ago
Trump plans to announce he will decertify Iran nuclear deal: Washington Post
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump plans to announce next week that he will decertify the Iran nuclear deal, saying it is not in the U.S. national interest and forwarding the issue to Congress to address, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.
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Reuters
256 d ago
Trump to receive multiple options on Iran nuclear deal: Tillerson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump will be presented with multiple options regarding the future of the Iran nuclear deal ahead of an Oct. 15 deadline to certify whether Tehran is complying with the pact, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday.
worldnews
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Reuters
256 d ago
Tillerson says will give Trump several options on Iran nuclear deal
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department will give President Donald Trump several options regarding the Iran nuclear deal ahead of the Oct. 15 deadline to certify whether Tehran is complying with the pact, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday.
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Business Insider
256 d ago
The future of the Iran nuclear deal may hinge on a face-saving fix for Trump
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say the future of the Iran nuclear deal may hinge on a face-saving fix for President Donald Trump so he doesn't have to recertify the Islamic republic's compliance with the accord every 90 days.
Several officials say the periodic reviews mandated by Congress have become such a source of embarrassment for Trump that his aides are seeking ways for him to avoid signing off on the accord without scuttling it entirely.
The president has called the agreement one of America's worst deals.
Officials say what Trump hates most, however, is a 2015 law requiring him to tell Congress every three months if Iran is meeting its promises. There are no easy fixes, however.
The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity.
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256 d ago
Sen. Cotton calls on Trump to decertify Iran nuke deal
Hours after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the U.S. should remain in the Iran nuclear deal, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., called on the Trump administration to decertify the deal.

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246 d ago Reuters :: Trump strikes blow at Iran nuclear deal in major U.S. policy shift
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump struck a blow against the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement on Friday in defiance of other world powers, choosing not to certify that Tehran is complying with the deal and warning he might ultimately terminate it.


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HE HAD to comfort himself by accusing Barack Obama of a historic blunder and by slandering the leaders of France and Britain as shills greedy for Iranian cash. But on October 13th—amid much bluster—President Donald Trump finally bowed to reality and the advice of his national security advisers and backed away from campaign promises to unilaterally abandon the deal to freeze Iran’s nuclear weapons programme.
Make no mistake, this was a climb-down, at least for now. Mr Trump has spent more than two years calling the deal, brokered by Mr Obama and other world leaders in 2015, an “embarrassment” that left Iranians “laughing at us”. These are grave charges in Mr Trump’s foreign policy lexicon. But this week the America First president balked when offered the chance to blow up the deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. That chance arose thanks to a reporting requirement put in place by a suspicious Congress back when Mr Obama was still in the White House.
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National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Sunday backed President Trump’s decision last week to nix the Iran nuclear deal unless the rogue nation fully complies with the 2015 international pact, saying it’s not a “trustworthy regime” and that it has already “crossed the line several times.”
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245 d ago The New YorkerTrump’s Irrational Hatred of the Iran Deal
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Even fierce critics of Tehran called the agreement vital to international security. The President wants to decertify it.
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245 d ago Business Insider :: Trump officials carefully thread the needle on explaining why the US is disavowing the Iran deal
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President Donald Trump refused to certify that Iran was in compliance with the nuclear agreement on Friday. Top administration officials defended his decision on the Sunday political shows. It's up to Congress what happens to the deal next. The top foreign policy officials in President Donald Trump's administration carefully attempted to thread the needle on Trump's decision not to certify the Iranian nuclear deal.
Negotiated by former President Barack Obama's administration and finalized in 2015, the multinational nuclear agreement significantly reduces Iran's nuclear weapons capabilities in exchange for relieving crippling economic sanctions imposed on the country. On Friday, Trump refused to certify that Iran was in compliance with the agreement.
In a series of interviews on Sunday, top members of the administration were forced to deal with some of the contradictions of Trump's position, arguing that the US hoped to keep the deal, despite the president's harsh criticism of it, and his decision this week to let Congress decide if the US will remain in the deal.
CNN host Jake Tapper confronted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on whether his statement that Iran was in compliance with the current deal contradicted Trump's claim that Iran violated the deal.
"Which is it? Tapper asked. "Is Iran in technical compliance, or has it committed multiple violations?"
"The answer is really both, Jake," Tillerson replied.
The secretary of state argued that Iran had violated portions of the agreement, such as carrying too much heavy water used for enriching uranium, but that the agreement allowed Iran to correct any violations.
"They have remedied the violations, which then brings them back into technical compliance," Tillerson said. "I think, though, that demonstrated pattern of always walking right up against the edges of the agreement are what give us some concern as to how far Iran might be willing to go to test the limits from its side of the agreement."
The deal, which the UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China also signed, also grants the International Atomic Energy Agency access to make sure Iran doesn't violate the terms of the deal.
Other officials forcefully defended Trump's decision, while saying the US would remain in the agreement.
ABCIn an interview on "Meet The Press," United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley — one of the administration's harshest critics of the deal — said she hoped the US would stay in it.
"I think right now, you're going to see us stay in the deal. Because what we hope is that we can improve the situation," Haley said. "Right now, we're in the deal to see how we can make it better. And that's the goal. It's not that we're getting out of the deal. We're just trying to make the situation better so that the American people feel safer."
NBC anchor Chuck Todd pointed out that a number of top figures, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, said the Iran nuclear deal was benefiting US national security interests, and that Iran was complying with the deal.
"Are they wrong?" Todd asked. "Reports indicate that you have been advocating with the president did more strongly really than anybody else in the administration. Why are they wrong and you're right about this?"
"They're not wrong," Haley replied.
In an interview on ABC, Haley pushed back against host George Stephanopoulos' argument that decertifying the deal implies that Iran is not in compliance with the deal.
"No, decertifying implies that all of those other things that are in the UN resolution are not happening," Haley said. "Those are total violations."
Haley claimed that Iran was in partial compliance with the deal, saying the country violated the non-nuclear resolutions regarding activities like arms smuggling. "Everybody is turning a blind eye to Iran and all of those violations, out of trying to protect this agreement," she said.
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Trump's actions cede the deal's future to Congress, which could choose to impose additional sanctions on Iran, ending the deal, attempt to renegotiate, or do nothing, which would keep the agreement in place.
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President unlikely to certify pact this week, triggering complex battle in Congress and Europe over ultimate fate of agreement
If Donald Trump decides this week to withdraw his endorsement of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal , its fate and the potential for a major conflict will be determined by a complex battle in Congress.
No one is able to predict whether that struggle will lead to a reimposition of US sanctions, the collapse of the agreement and the rapid scaling-up of Iran’s nuclear programme. It could result in a compromise that leaves the deal alive but opens the way for a more combative policy towards Tehran on other fronts.
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BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) - European countries are scrambling to cobble together a package of measures they hope will keep the Iran nuclear deal on track if U.S. President Donald Trump ignores their pleas and decertifies the landmark 2015 agreement this week.


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249 d ago Business Insider :: Fearing Trump torpedo, Europe scrambles to save the Iran nuclear deal
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Thomson Reuters
BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) - European countries are scrambling to cobble together a package of measures they hope will keep the Iran nuclear deal on track if U.S. President Donald Trump ignores their pleas and decertifies the landmark 2015 agreement this week.
The package would include a strong statement backing the deal by European powers, together with efforts to lobby the U.S. Congress and put wider pressure on Iran, officials said.
But without strong U.S. support for the deal, senior officials in Berlin, Paris and London say it may be only a matter of time before the pact between Tehran and six world powers unravels, with grave consequences for Middle East security, nonproliferation efforts and transatlantic ties.
The two-year-old agreement, under which Iran agreed to freeze its nuclear program for 15 years in exchange for sanctions relief, is viewed in Europe as a rare triumph of international diplomacy in the Middle East.
As tensions over North Korea's nuclear activities risk boiling over into all-out war, any move by the United States to undermine the Iran deal is seen in Europe as utter folly.
European capitals have been delivering this message to the White House and Congress in one of the most intense lobbying campaigns in recent memory. In the past weeks, European ambassadors have met dozens of U.S. lawmakers. And on Tuesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May lobbied Trump by phone.
Despite this, Trump is expected declare this week that Iran is not complying with the pact. He is also due to unveil a tough new strategy toward Iran - including designating its Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization - that could sink the deal.
"If the feeling is the United States no longer supports the agreement then the political reality is that the deal will be in serious jeopardy and its implementation will be very difficult," a senior French diplomat told Reuters.
A decision by Trump to decertify would not automatically kill the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The expectation is that Trump would kick the ball to Congress, which would then have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions lifted as part of the JCPOA.
Three-pronged response
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
European officials said they were preparing a three-pronged strategy if this does occur.
First, Berlin, London and Paris would issue statements reaffirming their commitment to the deal.
Second, they would redouble efforts to lobby Congress, which appears keen to keep the deal, against any rash moves.
And third, they would present measures to pressure Iran over its ballistic missile program and destabilizing policies in the Middle East -- areas that fall outside the narrowly-focused nuclear deal.
French President Emmanuel Macron alluded to this at the United Nations last month. Diplomats said the package was still in the works and they had not yet briefed Brussels on it.
With the third step, the Europeans hope to build a bridge to Washington while keeping the JCPOA intact. But a German diplomat said ratcheting up pressure on Tehran was like walking a tightrope: push too hard and the whole deal could fall apart.
"We all knew the JCPOA wasn't perfect, but by calling its benefits into question I see us only losing," said a senior European diplomat who has been involved in negotiations with Iran since 2003, well before Washington joined the talks under President Barack Obama.
If Trump follows through on his threats it will be the second time in four months that he has distanced the United States from a major multilateral agreement despite intense lobbying by partners and members of his own cabinet.
But in Europe, the Iran move would be seen as far more damaging than Trump's decision in June to pull out of the Paris climate accord.
"The threat from Iran in terms of nuclear proliferation is more immediate. This is far more dangerous," said Elmar Brok, a veteran foreign policy expert in the European Parliament and party ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
European officials and analysts fear a breakdown of the JCPOA could lead to an arms race in the Middle East, a military conflict between Iran and Israel and an escalation of regional proxy wars between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
They fear it would also doom any chances, no matter how slim, for a negotiated deal with North Korea.
All about war
AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, pool
"At the end of the day it's all about the risk of war," said Francois Heisbourg, chairman of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
There is also the danger of a further deterioration in transatlantic ties, especially if Washington targets European firms that do business in Iran.
Were that to happen, the EU ambassador to Washington, David O'Sullivan, has said Brussels would revert to a 1990s-era law that shields European companies from extraterritorial sanctions.
Even if the EU were to take such a step, the senior French diplomat said European companies could think twice about their Iran commitments.
Among firms that have announced big deals in Iran since the JCPOA went into force are planemaker Airbus , French energy group Total and Germany's Siemens .
"One of the big difficulties of the agreement is ensuring the economic operators have confidence in the system and key to that is confidence in the United States," the diplomat said.
Any signs that European companies are pulling back could prompt the Iranians to reassess the merits of the nuclear deal.
"The agreement with Iran is like a delicate plant," said Omid Nouripour, an Iranian-born lawmaker with the German Greens party, which is expected to be part of Merkel's next coalition government.
"It is a sign of what diplomacy can achieve but it is fragile. The American president doesn't appear to believe in diplomacy. He seems intent on crushing this plant." 
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249 d ago USA Today :: President Trump, don't decertify Iran nuclear deal
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251 d ago Business InsiderGermany doesn't want Trump to scrap the Iran nuclear deal
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Christian Hartmann/Reuters
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is worried that U.S. President Donald Trump will say the international deal to curb Iran's nuclear program is not being adhered to and that this will turn North Korea off any accord to halt its nuclear weapons program, the foreign minister said.
Sigmar Gabriel told reporters in Berlin on Monday that Germany was ready to increase pressure on Iran, with diplomatic means, but that "we do not want to see this agreement damaged."
He added: "Our big concern is with, regard to North Korea, that it is very unlikely the North Korean dictatorship is ready to agree to an international agreement to renounce the building of nuclear weapons if the only agreement in the world that has allowed such a renunciation is at the same time called into question."
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Michelle Martin; Writing by Paul Carrel)
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BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Monday it hopes the Iran nuclear deal will stay intact, playing an important role in keeping the peace, after a senior U.S. official said President Donald Trump is expected to decertify the agreement.


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251 d ago Reuters :: Germany does not want to see Iran nuclear deal damaged
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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is worried that U.S. President Donald Trump will say the international deal to curb Iran's nuclear program is not being adhered to and that this will turn North Korea off any accord to halt its nuclear weapons program, the foreign minister said.


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President Trump has suggested he will “decertify” Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement. But that does not necessarily kill the deal.
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255 d ago The Wall Street Journal :: Decertifying the Iran Deal Wouldn't Have to Kill It
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If Trump takes this step, he should explain the distinction he is making—and why it matters.
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247 d ago CNN :: Opinion: Iran should call Trump's bluff
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Donald Trump is about to throw the whole steaming mess of the Iran nuclear treaty into the hands of a deeply wounded and divided Congress, having built no foundation for such an action with the five other nations that signed the accord -- four of them desperately important for US national security.
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President Donald Trump announced that he will decertify the Iran nuclear deal and accused the “radical” and “fanatical” regime of violating the agreement multiple times.
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if Trump decides against certifying the agreement it won't immediately kill the deal, but it will almost certainly lead to a period of uncertainty.
         
 
 

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Trump is weighing a more aggressive U.S. strategy to counter Iran's forces.
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279 d ago Reuters :: Exclusive: Trump to weigh more aggressive U.S. strategy on Iran
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump is weighing a strategy that calls for more aggressive U.S. responses to Iran's forces, its Shi'ite Muslim proxies in Iraq and Syria, and its support for militant groups, according to five current and former U.S. officials.


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278 d ago Reuters :: Exclusive: Trump to weigh more aggressive U.S. strategy on Iran - sources
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump is weighing a strategy that could allow more aggressive U.S. responses to Iran's forces, its Shi'ite Muslim proxies in Iraq and Syria, and its support for militant groups, according to six current and former U.S. officials.


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278 d ago Business Insider :: Trump may develop a more aggressive strategy on Iran
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump is weighing a strategy that could allow more aggressive US responses to Iran's forces, its Shi'ite Muslim proxies in Iraq and Syria, and its support for militant groups, according to six current and former US officials.
The proposal was prepared by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and other top officials, and presented to Trump at a National Security Council meeting on Friday, the sources said.
It could be agreed and made public before the end of September, two of the sources said. All of the sources are familiar with the draft and requested anonymity because Trump has yet to act on it.
In contrast to detailed instructions handed down by President Barack Obama and some of his predecessors, Trump is expected to set broad strategic objectives and goals for US policy but leave it to US military commanders, diplomats and other US officials to implement the plan, said a senior administration official.
"Whatever we end up with, we want to implement with allies to the greatest extent possible," the official added.
The White House declined to comment.
The plan is intended to increase the pressure on Tehran to curb its ballistic missile programs and support for militants, several sources said.
"I would call it a broad strategy for the range of Iranian malign activities: financial materials, support for terror, destabilization in the region, especially Syria and Iraq and Yemen," said another senior administration official.
The proposal also targets cyber espionage and other activity and potentially nuclear proliferation, the official said.
The administration is still debating a new stance on a 2015 agreement, sealed by Obama, to curb Iran's nuclear weapons program. The draft urges consideration of tougher economic sanctions if Iran violates the 2015 agreement.
The proposal includes more aggressive US interceptions of Iranian arms shipments such as those to Houthi rebels in Yemen and Palestinian groups in Gaza and Egypt's Sinai, a current official and a knowledgeable former US official said.
US Navy via Reuters
The plan also recommends the United States react more aggressively in Bahrain, whose Sunni Muslim monarchy has been suppressing majority Shi'ites, who are demanding reforms, the sources said.
In addition, US naval forces could react more forcefully when harassed by armed speed boats operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran's paramilitary and espionage contingent, three of the sources said.
US ships have fired flares and warning shots to drive off IRGC boats that made what were viewed as threatening approaches after refusing to heed radio warnings in the passageway for 35 percent of the world's seaborne petroleum exports.
US commanders now are permitted to open fire only when they think their vessels and the lives of their crews are endangered. The sources offered no details of the proposed changes in the rules, which are classified.
Islamic State first
The plan does not include an escalation of US military activity in Syria and Iraq. Trump's national security aides argued that a more muscular military response to Iranian proxies in Syria and Iraq would complicate the US-led fight against Islamic State, which they argued should remain the top priority, four of the sources said.
Mattis and McMaster, as well as the heads of the US Central Command and US Special Forces Command, have opposed allowing US commanders in Syria and Iraq to react more forcefully to provocations by the IRGC, Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias, the four sources said.
The advisers are concerned that more permissive rules of engagement would divert US forces from defeating the remnants of Islamic State, they said.
Moreover, looser rules could embroil the United States in a conflict with Iran while US forces remain overstretched, and Trump has authorized a small troop increase for Afghanistan, said one senior administration official.
Omar Sanadiki/Reuters
A former US official said Hezbollah and Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias in Iraq have been "very helpful" in recapturing vast swaths of the caliphate that Islamic State declared in Syria and Iran in 2014.
US troops supporting Kurdish and Sunni Arab fighters battling Islamic State in Syria have been wrestling with how to respond to hostile actions by Iranian-backed forces.
In some of the most notable cases, US aircraft shot down two Iranian-made drones in June. Both were justified as defensive acts narrowly tailored to halt an imminent threat on the ground.
Trump's opposition to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), poses a dilemma for policymakers.
Most of his national security aides favor remaining in the pact, as do US allies Israel and Saudi Arabia despite their reservations about Iran's adherence to the agreement, said US officials involved in the discussions.
"The main issue for us was to get the president not to discard the JCPOA. But he had very strong feelings, backed by (US Ambassador to the United Nations) Nikki Haley, that they should be more aggressive with Iran," one of the two US officials said. "Almost all the strategies presented to him were ones that tried to preserve the JCPOA but lean forward on these other (issues.)"
(Writing by Jonathan Landay; Reporting by Arshad Mohammed, Jonathan Landay, and Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Phil Stewart and John Walcott; Editing by Howard Goller)
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278 d ago Business Insider :: Trump is weighing a more aggressive strategy for Iran
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Thomson Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump is weighing a strategy that calls for more aggressive U.S. responses to Iran's forces, its Shi'ite Muslim proxies in Iraq and Syria, and its support for militant groups, according to five current and former U.S. officials.
The proposal was prepared by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and other top officials, and presented to Trump at a National Security Council meeting on Friday, the sources said.
It could be agreed and made public before the end of September, two of the sources said. All of the sources are familiar with the draft and requested anonymity because Trump has yet to act on it.
The plan is intended to increase the pressure on Tehran to curb its ballistic missile programs and support for militants, the sources said.
"I would call it a broad strategy for the range of Iranian malign activities: financial materials, support for terror, destabilization in the region, especially Syria and Iraq and Yemen," said one senior administration official.           
The proposal also targets cyber espionage and other activity and potentially nuclear proliferation, the official said.
The administration is still debating a new stance on a 2015 agreement, sealed by President Barack Obama, Trump's predecessor, to curb Iran's nuclear weapons program. The draft urges consideration of tougher economic sanctions if Iran violates the 2015 agreement.
The proposal includes more aggressive U.S. interceptions of Iranian arms shipments such as those to Houthi rebels in Yemen and Palestinian groups in Gaza and Egypt's Sinai, a current official and a knowledgeable former U.S. official said.
The plan also recommends the United States react more aggressively in Bahrain, whose Sunni Muslim monarchy has been suppressing majority Shi'ites, who are demanding reforms, the sources said.
In addition, U.S. naval forces could react more forcefully when harassed by armed speed boats operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran's paramilitary and espionage contingent, three of the sources said.
U.S. ships have fired flares and warning shots to drive off IRGC boats that made what were viewed as threatening approaches after refusing to heed radio warnings in the passageway for 35 percent of the world's seaborne petroleum exports.
U.S. commanders now are permitted to open fire only when they think their vessels and the lives of their crews are endangered. The sources offered no details of the proposed changes in the rules, which are classified.       
ISLAMIC STATE FIRST
The plan does not include an escalation of U.S. military activity in Syria and Iraq. Trump's national security aides argued that a more muscular military response to Iranian proxies in Syria and Iraq would complicate the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State, which they argued should remain the top priority, the sources said.
Mattis and McMaster, as well as the heads of the U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Forces Command, have opposed allowing U.S. commanders in Syria and Iraq to react more forcefully to provocations by the IRGC, Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias, all five sources said.
The advisers are concerned that more permissive rules of engagement would divert U.S. forces from defeating the remnants of Islamic State, the sources said.
Moreover, looser rules could embroil the United States in a conflict with Iran while U.S. forces remain overstretched, and Trump has authorized a small troop increase for Afghanistan, said the second senior administration official.
Another former U.S. official said Hezbollah and Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias in Iraq have been "very helpful" in recapturing vast swaths of the caliphate that Islamic State declared in Syria and Iran in 2014.
U.S. troops supporting Kurdish and Sunni Arab fighters battling Islamic State in Syria have been wrestling with how to respond to hostile actions by Iranian-backed forces.
In some of the most notable cases, U.S. aircraft shot down two Iranian-made drones in June. Both were justified as defensive acts narrowly tailored to halt an imminent threat on the ground.
Trump's opposition to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), poses a dilemma for policymakers.
Most of his national security aides favor remaining in the pact, as do U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia despite their reservations about Iran's adherence to the agreement, said U.S. officials involved in the discussions.
"The main issue for us was to get the president not to discard the JCPOA. But he had very strong feelings, backed by (U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations) Nikki Haley, that they should be more aggressive with Iran," one of the two U.S. officials said. "Almost all the strategies presented to him were ones that tried to preserve the JCPOA but lean forward on these other (issues.)" 
(Writing by Jonathan Landay.; Reporting by Arshad Mohammed,Jonathan Landay, and Steve Holland.; Additional reporting by Phil Stewart and John Walcott; Editing by Howard Goller)

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