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Trump punts fate of Iran deal to Congress

President Donald Trump's announcement that he will not be certifying the Iran nuclear accord was met with domestic and international criticism.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about Iran and the Iran nuclear deal in front of a portrait of President George Washington in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - HP1EDAD1BXDA9

WASHINGTON — As he had been signaling for weeks, President Donald Trump announced Friday that he would not be certifying that the 2015 Iran nuclear deal meets congressional requirements, though he stopped short of withdrawing the United States from the arms control pact. Instead, Trump said he was urging Congress to amend legislation overseeing the deal to also target Iran’s ballistic missile program and threaten sanctions if Iran expands its enrichment capacity when certain provisions in the accord “sunset,” permitting it to do so after a decade.

The widely anticipated decision to withhold certification, over technical legislative grounds rather than any claim that Iran was not abiding by the accord, gives Congress 60 days to decide if it will reimpose US nuclear-related sanctions suspended under the deal in return for Iran’s rollback of its nuclear program.

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