US security experts urge President Donald Trump to honor Iran nuclear deal

US President Donald Trump (Photo by Reuters)
A bipartisan group of over 100 US national security veterans have called on President Donald Trump to honor the Iran nuclear deal, amid growing speculation that he may choose to kill the multilateral accord.
In a statement on Monday, the so-called National Coalition to Prevent an Iranian Nuclear Weapon, including 50 retired military officers and at least four former American ambassadors to Israel, explained why keeping the agreement alive is in the best interests of Washington, The New York Times reported.
They reminded Trump of the determination by United Nations inspectors that the pact is working. The experts also highlighted the importance of maintaining close ties with European allies, which all support the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The security experts further referred to the possibility of a nuclear agreement with North Korea, which, they said, “might not negotiate if it believes that the United States abrogates international pledges.”
“President Trump should maintain the US commitment to the Iran nuclear deal,” the statement read. “Doing so will bring substantial benefits and strengthen America’s hand in dealing with North Korea, as well as Iran, and help maintain the reliability of America’s word and influence as a world leader. Ditching it would serve no national security purpose.”

Trump has been a vociferous critic of the Iran nuclear deal which was signed between Tehran and six world powers in 2015. He has called the JCPOA the “worst deal ever” and even threatened to tear it up.
The statement comes ahead of a May 12 deadline for Trump to decide whether to extend waivers of economic sanctions on Iran, a US commitment under the agreement.
In January, he did extend those waivers, but said the European signatories should fix “the terrible flaws” of the accord by May 12 or he will refuse to do that again.
White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah said Monday that Trump is “prepared to potentially withdraw” from the Iran deal if changes to the agreement are not made.
Earlier this month, Trump brought two anti-Iran hawks into his cabinet, fueling speculation that he could be preparing to withdraw the US from the deal.
Ex-CIA chief Mike Pompeo replaced Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, while John Bolton was picked as Trump’s national security adviser.
Both figures have been critical of the Iran deal, which was inked under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, with Bolton once calling it “the worst act of appeasement in American history.”
Iran maintains that it will not renegotiate JCPOA, an international document endorsed by the Security Council Resolution 2231.
Other parties to the agreement, namely Russia, China, Britain, Germany and France, have all criticized Trump’s hostile views, saying the deal is sound and has proven to be functioning.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is tasked with monitoring Iran’s nuclear activities, has repeatedly verified Tehran's full commitment to its side of the bargain.