UN's nuclear-weapons watchdog agency defends 2015 Iran deal

Trump could decide that it is not in U.S. interests and refuse to re-certify, Haley told an audience in Washington, DC, earlier this month.
By Jose Jefferies | Sep 13, 2017
The agreement on Iran's nuclear activities is working and should stay in place, argued Yukiya Amano, head of the UN nuclear-weapons watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency. Amano, whose agency is responsible for verifying that Iran is refraining from nuclear weapons development per the terms of the agreement, rebutted recent criticisms of the deal by President Trump's ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.

"The verification regime in Iran is the most robust regime currently existing. We have increased the inspection days in Iran, we have increased inspector numbers ... and the number of images has increased," Amano told reporters in Vienna. "From a verification point of view, it is a clear and significant gain."

The deal and its suspension of U.S. sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran's verification that it has eliminated most of its enriched uranium and is not producing new nuclear-weapons material, has been a recurring target of scorn by Trump, who has called it "the worst deal ever negotiated."

Trump renewed the sanctions suspension earlier this year, but he will face another decision time on the deal again in mid-October, when he must decide whether to re-certify that Iran is complying and that it is in U.S. national interests to uphold the deal.

Trump could decide that it is not in U.S. interests and refuse to re-certify, Haley told an audience in Washington, DC, earlier this month. Were that to happen, Congress would have 60 days to debate on placing Iran back under sanctions.

In his Monday press briefing, Amano insisted that Iran is keeping up its end of the bargain and that Iran's commitments under the deal "are being implemented."

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