Several lawmakers and members of the Trump administration agree that more needs to be done to counter threats that are not explicitly included in the Iran deal, but many have also indicated that those efforts should not come at the expense of creating a scenario in which the agreement is terminated. He did not think either was true. Trump "threw a fit", a person familiar with the meeting told the Post.
If Trump declines to certify the Iran deal, it would open a 60-day window in which USA congressional leaders could move quickly to reimpose sanctions on Tehran suspended under the agreement. Instead, these officials said Trump is more inclined to push legislators to amend the law that requires the president to certify Iran's compliance every 90 days.
Even so, some experts told CNBC that decertification will undermine the worldwide deal and encourage hardliners in Tehran to push for nuclear weapons. The sometimes angry internal debate also provides another illustration of the way in which Trump's gut impulses and desire for dramatic action have often collided with the subtlety of worldwide diplomacy.
Former Obama administration officials who played central roles in brokering the Iran nuclear agreement briefed congressional Democrats later Wednesday on the merits of the global accord. "Once it was entered into, once it was implemented, we want to see it enforced".
The solution is a compromise that retains the agreement but also puts Iran and U.S. allies on notice that Trump is willing to walk away.
The message these diplomats have gotten from administration officials is that they were "looking for a middle way" and didn't want to "kill the deal", one envoy said. He also is expected to target the country's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard with new sanctions.
"You can do both", Trump said Wednesday when asked about certifying or rejecting the deal.
As ABC News has previously reported, President Trump is expected to "decertify" the Iran nuclear deal forged by the Obama administration and declare that it no longer serves US national security interests.
"We are on a tightrope". Working with Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., a leading congressional hawk on Iran, the White House would refrain from recommending that Congress reimpose nuclear sanctions that were suspended under the deal.
Some top figures in Congress are already deeply skeptical of the Trump effort to kill the deal, with Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) saying the U.S. should "enforce the hell out of it" instead. Decertifying the nuclear deal threatens to further escalate tensions between the two nations.
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The speaker and the setting were clear signals that the Iran hard-liner would block for Trump in two ways.
Republicans critical of the initial deal have urged the administration to enforce it.
Europe's efforts recall the fruitless campaign to persuade Trump to respect the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, which also saw concerted efforts in private and public from France, Britain and Germany. Iran has said the same.
Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council, echoed Sullivan's concerns.
The decision was clumsily announced that evening, hours before a legal deadline, along with a declaration that Trump planned to toughen expectations and enforcement.
"If there are new sanctions, it's going to be very complicated", he explained.
Under the deal, Tehran agreed to mothball large parts of its nuclear programme.
"Wouldn't an Iran armed with nuclear weapons behave worse than a non-nuclear-armed Iran?"
By July, the president's frustration was evident. "The U.K. supports the deal and stresses the importance of all parties continuing to uphold their commitments".
News reported the White House briefed lawmakers Wednesday on the pending decision and those who left were convinced the Obama-era nuclear deal would get decertified.
Rosenberg said decertification would effectively open a 60-day window for Congress to consider sanctions on Iran.