One of Donald Trump’s foreign policy advisers says the President-elect is going to demand changes to the Iran nuclear agreement, CNNreported Thursday.
The comments by Walid Phares are somewhat in line with Trump’s promise during the election campaign to “rip up” the Iran nuclear agreement, which he described as “disastrous” and one of the worst agreements ever negotiated.
Speaking to BBC radio on Thursday, Phares clarified that while Trump might not actually rip up the agreement, he would act to change it.
“Ripping up is maybe a too strong of word, he’s gonna take that agreement, it’s been done before in international context, and then review it,” the adviser said.
“He will take the agreement, review it, send it to Congress, demand from the Iranians to restore few issues or change few issues, and there will be a discussion. It could be a tense discussion but the agreement as is right now — $750 billion to the Iranian regime without receiving much in return and increasing intervention in four countries — that is not going to be accepted by a Trump administration,” added Phares.
Iranian officials have downplayed Trump’s threats to annul the nuclear deal.
Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in June said the nuclear deal can’t be renegotiated despite Trump’s pledge to do so if elected.
Similarly, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, recently downplayed Trump’s comments and said the nuclear deal will not be in danger even if Trump wins the election.
“I don’t think (the nuclear deal would receive) any serious impact (from Trump). It may go a little bit up and down, it may delay certain things, but it will not seriously detract (from the deal),” he said in September.
On Wednesday, a day after Trump was elected, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said there was “no possibility” that the nuclear deal with world powers would be overturned by Trump.
“Iran’s understanding in the nuclear deal was that the accord was not concluded with one country or government but was approved by a resolution of the UN Security Council and there is no possibility that it can be changed by a single government,” Rouhani said