Stephen Lendman

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Draft GOP Bill Breaches Iran Nuclear Deal

Draft GOP Bill Breaches Iran Nuclear Deal

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)

International treaties can't be changed without the consent of all signatories. None may legally act unilaterally, a notion the Trump administration and congressional GOP hardliners reject.

They aim to undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal - a sinister plot to stoke greater Middle East turmoil than already.

Draft Legislation sponsored by GOP Senators Bob Corker and Tom Cotton adds unacceptable new requirements to the deal - a binding international agreement not subject to revision by any of its signatories, Washington one of them.

Draft GOP Senate provisions illegally prohibit flight testing, manufacture or deployment of ICBM's capable of carrying any type warheads - including attempts to convert space-launched vehicles into ICBMs.

Also banned are any activities aiming to acquire nuclear material or equipment capable of producing it from foreign sources.

It details how Washington would freeze Iran's "breakout timeline" to produce enough fissile material for nuclear weapons it deplores, doesn't want, and strongly advocates a Middle East from them, Israel the region's only armed and dangerous nuclear power.

It also demands IAEA access to any Iranian sites, including military ones - something few, if any, nations would permit, certainly not America or Israel.

Other provisions include removing so-called "sunset" clauses, lifting restrictions on some Iranian nuclear activities after 10 or 15 years.

Semi-annual reporting on Iranian compliance is required, interfering with the IAEA's monitoring mandate. Iranian policies unrelated to the deal could be used to build an alleged case of noncompliance - no matter how untrue.

Trump wants the JCPOA illegally toughened. He threatened to pull out of the deal otherwise - more evidence America can never be trusted if he walks away from an international treaty - not the first time for the nation if happens.

Sordid US history includes many treaties and agreements Washington unilaterally violated. The JCPOA appears next in line.

On his own, Trump can't end the deal. Ending US involvement would significantly weaken it, Congress able to renew all sanctions removed under the agreement. 

Key would be if other P5+1 countries observe them. If not, the JCPOA could be saved. Otherwise, it could be rendered meaningless.

House and Senate undemocratic Dems oppose revising or weakening the JCPOA. It's unclear how many Republicans will go along.

Senate Dems could block legislation by filibustering against it. Years of talks went into drafting the JCPOA. Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany (the other P5+1 signatories) want it preserved. Iran won't tolerate revisions.

Days earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted: "Warmongers confess they're more worried that we abide by #JCPOA than violate it. No spin will mask this. US should try to comply - just like us."

Reneging on the deal would show the futility of negotiating with Washington - North Korea unlikely to accept anything US officials might propose, directly or indirectly.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

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