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Trump keeps world guessing on Iran deal’s future

Even as Iran hawks complain they are shut out from the White House, proponents of the nuclear deal are not confident they will prevail with the president.
U.S. President Donald Trump is greeted by military personnel as he arrives at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S., August 23, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTS1D28A

WASHINGTON — Critics and defenders of the nuclear deal with Iran are equally in the dark about President Donald Trump’s intentions ahead of the next congressionally mandated deadline to certify Tehran’s compliance Oct. 15.

The arrival of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly a month ago, combined with the subsequent departure of Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, his bombastic deputy Sebastian Gorka and several hawkish National Security Council officials aligned with Bannon, have reduced access to the president for those advocating outright abandoning the deal. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, has imposed strict protocols, requiring that any information going to the president be submitted first for review by White House staff secretary Rob Porter. Kelly has also stopped the Oval Office open-door policy, limiting who can gain access to the president’s ear.

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