Iran Nuclear Agreement

Reporting by Jennifer Griffin

The Republican Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee says the United States should stay in the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

Chairman Ed Royce and his colleagues may soon play a larger role in this deal. The White House is expected to announce this week it will send the fate of the Iran Nuclear Agreement to Congress.

The administration is considering a plan to decertify and claim Iran is failing to comply with the major components of the nuclear deal. That starts a 60-day period where congress could restore nuclear-related sanctions against Iran.

If it does, the nuclear agreement falls apart.

On Capitol Hill today, former Obama Administration officials warned against that and so did one Democrat, Congressman Eliot Engel,  who two years ago opposed the agreement, saying “if we pullout of the deal I believe we lose whatever leverage we have to drive that agenda.”

The administration’s supporters argue the Iran Nuclear Agreement should also address Iran’s other behavior—ballistic missile development, promoting terrorism and cyber-attacks.

European allies, Russia and China, the other two countries in this agreement, warn against withdrawing from it.

Iran threatens to resume its nuclear program, with Iranian President Rouhani saying “if the US makes a mistake and backs out of the nuclear deal, I announce it openly that it will be a failure just for America, not us. We will not have any trouble and will push ahead on our path.”

Every 90 days the administration must certify whether Iran is complying with the bulk of the agreement—a requirement a Republican Congress created for the previous administration. The Trump Administration has until Sunday to certify—or not.

US student held in Iran

Reporting by Peter Doocy

Princeton University says Iranian officials arrested one of their graduate students, 37-year old Xiyue Wang, last summer,

The school says Wang was in Iran conducting research for his PHD. Iran says he assumed the role of student to infiltrate its national archives and share sensitive information with the west.

It is this provocative behavior the US says continues two years after the previous administration signed a nuclear deal with Iran and several other countries.

Congress requires the administration to certify every 90 days whether Iran is complying with that agreement—that latest deadline is today.

The State Department says the US will continue complying with the nuclear agreement while it reviews the entire US policy towards Iran.

President Trump opposes the Iran Deal, though Iran has already received tens of billions in unfrozen assets as part of the agreement and restoring international sanctions against Iran could be difficult.

The White House says the State Department will release the administration decision today, but State refuses to say when it will do so.

It is also unclear when the Trump Administration will conclude its review and announce its new Iran policy.

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