US President Donald Trump to unveil new Iran strategy
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US President Donald Trump to unveil new Iran strategy

President Donald Trump will call for stricter enforcement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but he will not pull the US out of the deal clinched by his predecessor Barack Obama.

world Updated: Oct 13, 2017 21:15 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
US President Donald Trump,Trump's new strategy for Iran,Iran nuclear programme
File photo of US President Donald Trump announcing his secretary of homeland security nominee Kirstjen Nielsen in the East Room of the White House in Washington on October 12, 2017. (Reuters)

President Donald Trump will on Friday unveil a new strategy that will focus on “neutralising” Iran’s alleged support for terrorism and other destabilising issues but will leave intact the US commitment to a 2015 multilateral pact that slowed down the Asian nation’s nuclear weapons programme.

Trump will call for stricter enforcement of that agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but he will not pull the US out of the deal clinched by President Barack Obama working with allies Britain, France, Germany and the European Union on one side and Russian and China on the other,

Trump is expected to say his administration will not certify Iran’s compliance of the conditions of the deal, as required by a domestic US law, this time and will ask lawmakers to determine for themselves it they want to reimpose sanctions, do nothing or look at other options.

As a candidate for the White House, Trump had vowed to tear up the Iran nuclear agreement if elected, calling it the worst deal he had ever seen. He still could, but he is apparently willing to try other measures, even if it’s for the sake of form, before he pulls out, which he had said he has wanted to.

India will be observing closely as it was forced to reorient its crude oil supplies the last time the US imposed sanctions on Iran and threatened to block its non-complying trading partners from the American banking system, the hub of the world’s financial order.

This time around, India is in a better position, having been forced to diversify its crude supply base with US help, but Iran is also a long-time political ally and trading partner. The two countries are jointly developing a crucial Iranian port — Chabahar — to give India greater access to Afghanistan.

A fact-sheet released by the White House about Trump’s plans stated: “The United States’ new Iran strategy focuses on neutralising the Government of Iran’s destabilising influence and constraining its aggression, particularly its support for terrorism and militants.

“We will revitalise our traditional alliances and regional partnerships as bulwarks against Iranian subversion and restore a more stable balance of power in the region.

“We will work to deny the Iranian regime – and especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – funding for its malign activities, and oppose IRGC activities that extort the wealth of the Iranian people.

“We will counter threats to the United States and our allies from ballistic missiles and other asymmetric weapons.

“We will rally the international community to condemn the IRGC’s gross violations of human rights and its unjust detention of American citizens and other foreigners on specious charges.

“Most importantly, we will deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon.”

First Published: Oct 13, 2017 14:34 IST