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Wednesday 07 December 2016
The State Department on Tuesday acknowledged President-elect Donald Trump can exit President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran.
“It’s not a formal treaty, and, of course, no one else can prevent any party to this agreement from walking away,” spokesman Mark Toner told reporters Tuesday, according to The Washington Examiner. "The counterargument is, why would anyone walk away? Because it’s effective.”
Toner said State cautions against leaving last year’s historical pact regarding Iran’s nuclear energy capabilities. The spokesman noted his agency is promoting the deal’s merits to the incoming Trump administration.
Toner added extending expiring legislation that levied sanctions on Iran is not in violation of the agreement’s conditions.
“We obviously reject those views,” he said. "We’ve been very clear that what we call a ‘clean’ extension of the Iran Sanctions Act is entirely consistent with our commitments in the [Iran deal].
“And, in any case, Secretary [of State John] Kerry would retain waiver authority and would continue to waive all sanctions, the relevant sanctions authorized by the legislation. And that’s what we committed to do in the [Iran Deal] and so we retain that capacity, I guess, is the point.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani earlier Tuesday slammed Trump for threatening to abolish the landmark 2015 deal.
“[Trump] wants to do many things, but none of his actions would affect us,” he said during a speech at the University of Tehran, according to Reuters.
“Do you think that the United States can rip up the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal]? Do you think we and our nation will let him do that?”
Rouhani additionally hammered Congress for passing legislation that extended the Iran Sanctions Act for 10 years, making it easier for sanctions on Iran to be re-implemented.
“If the Iran Sanctions Act is carried out, it will be a clear and very obvious violation of the agreement and will be met with a very harsh response from us,” he said, according to the New York Times.
Last year’s deal between the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany with Iran last year eased economic sanctions in exchange for greater restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.
Trump fiercely criticized the pact on the campaign trail, vowing in March, for example, he would “dismantle the disastrous deal."