US scholar: JCPOA not renegotiable, Congress unable to change it

New York, Jan 14, IRNA – An American academic says Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not renegotiable and the US Congress cannot change it.

I t is beyond the legal authorities of the US Congress and administration to make such changes in this multilateral international agreement, Jim Walsh, an MIT professor and prominent nuclear researcher said in an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) in New York in response to a question whether it is possible to renegotiate Iran deal.

Walsh, a Senior Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program (SSP) said President Trump's security team including the secretary of state, secretary of defense and national security advisor, have called on him not to do anything that might endanger the JCPOA.

'President Trump may wake up one day and will be angry about something and suddenly decide to pull out of the JCPOA but it is pretty clear that his national security team, the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and the National Security Advisor all have urged him not to take action that would violate the agreement so that's the basic dynamic we have and that is probably going to continue,' he said.

However, Walsh added that if Trump violates the deal, Tehran will have a host of options on the table to get the upper hand.

'if Trump violates the agreement, then Iran has the range of options. Basically they can decide to simply stay in the agreement with the other parties the Europeans, Chinese and Russian parties. ...It may decide pulling out of the agreement. ...Especially, Trump's decision gives Iranian officials an advantage, it gives them a freedom of action where they can choose any number of responses and different stages so Iran might respond one way at first and respond differently later but basically it gives Iran the right to response,' said the scholar.

On the US president's persistence in having certain articles of the nuclear deal between G5+1 and Iran amended, Professor Walsh said neither the US, nor the Europeans can revise or renegotiate the deal, even if they wish to do so.

He maintained that a lot of people in Washington are worried about what the US president might do, adding that as a 'big fan' of the JCPOA, he thought all the parties benefit from it and that the world is now much better [with JCPOA].

The American scholar said It is better to judge President Trump by his deeds than his words 'because his words can change day by day and even minute by minute.'

On recent sanctions slammed by the US on some Iranian officials and entities, he said imposition of the new sanctions concurrently with the extension of sanctions waiver is not accidental at all because the US president did something what he was not willing to do and so his latter measure was aimed at making good on his former action and showing off his stubbornness.

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