Iran FM briefs parliament on Trump's threat to nuclear deal

Speaking at a meeting of his cabinet, Rouhani warned Trump against taking such "hostile action", and suggested that even if the United States pulls out, Iran will uphold its side of the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), if it serves Iranian interests through continued economic ties with Europe, according to translated excerpts obtained by McClatchy.

Political observers have warned that any unilateral action by the United States based on unsupported claims of Iranian non-compliance would isolate Washington, impede future efforts for other nonproliferation agreements in the broader worldwide community and increase the likelihood of a wider conflict in the Middle East. He also is expected to target the country's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard with new sanctions.

But Trump has received little support from the other five world powers involved in the pact that lifted crippling economic sanctions on the Iranian regime in return for restrictions on nuclear activities.

News reported the White House briefed lawmakers Wednesday on the pending decision and those who left were convinced the Obama-era nuclear deal would get decertified.

Trump detests the certification requirement, which forces him to sign off every three months on an accord he has called the worst deal ever negotiated by America, according to the officials.

What is Trump expected to say or do about the deal?

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Iran has already threatened the United States with dire consequences if it imposes sanctions against the country.

Mogherini pointed to other global agreements that the U.S. has abandoned but the rest of the world has remained committed to, including the Paris Agreement on climate change.

If Trump does decertify the accord as expected, it would put him at odds with Defense Secretary James Mattis, who last week said Tehran was "fundamentally" in compliance with the agreement and that the US should stick with the pact.

"Congress and the administration need to be on the same page, and a major breakdown in the working relationship between one of the very few key Republicans on the Hill who works with Democrats and the president on Iran policy bodes very poorly", said Elizabeth Rosenberg, a former Treasury Department official now at the Center for a New American Security.

De-certifying would not withdraw the United States from the deal but it would give the U.S. Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose the sanctions on Tehran that were suspended under the agreement.

On Wednesday, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said that Iran is considering "various scenarios" in response to Trump's "probable withdrawal" from the global nuclear deal. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., would demand that the intelligence community produce judgments on a wide range of Iranian behavior that is not covered by the nuclear deal, including ballistic missile testing and development and threats to Israel and the Mideast more broadly.

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"There is no technical nor political space to renegotiate this deal", Federica Mogherini, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, told PBS Wednesday.

If the US made a decision to reimpose nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, it would be in breach of the JCPOA.

Why does U.S. President Donald Trump want to scrap it?

The other signatories to the JCPOA - the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran, have said it is not realistic to try to renegotiate its terms.

But it could be hard to get both Iran and its ally, Russia, back to the table for a new round of talks. Instead, these officials said Trump is more inclined to push legislators to amend the law that requires the president to certify Iran's compliance every 90 days.

What exactly that will look like is still being determined, but it could include greater congressional oversight.

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