Mattis Urges US Remain in JCPOA

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Mattis Urges US Remain in JCPOA

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

In Thursday testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee members, war secretary Mattis was asked if he believes remaining in the JCPOA nuclear deal serves US national security interests. “Yes,” he responded.

He said there’s “been no decision made on any withdrawal from JCPOA,” adding:

“(D)iscussions are ongoing in the national security staff and those of us who are charged with that responsibility of giving the president advice.” 

“It’s going on today as we speak,” falsely claiming “there are obviously aspects of the JCPOA…that can be improved on” – failing to explain:

Iran’s nuclear program has no military component. Annual US intelligence community assessments confirm it, finding no evidence suggesting otherwise.

The Islamic Republic deplores these weapons, urging their abolition, the only way to assure they won’t be used.

During Thursday testimony, Mattis explained JCPOA provisions include “robust” oversight of Iran’s nuclear program, stressing:

“I’ve read it now three times…and I will say that it is written almost with an assumption that Iran would try to cheat,” adding:

“So the verification, what is in there, is actually pretty robust as far as our intrusive ability” for the IAEA to inspect its facilities, checking on compliance. 

“Whether or not that is sufficient, that is a valid question.” Nothing suggests otherwise, he failed to explain.

Washington is pressuring Britain, Germany and France to decide “whether we can repair it enough to stay in it, or if the president is going to decide to withdraw from it.”

Mattis downplayed how abandoning the JCPOA would affect denuclearization talks with North Korea, falsely accusing the country of “breaking every international treaty, every agreement they have ever made, whether it’s been with the Republic of Korea or with the United States” – a bald-faced lie.

Washington flagrantly breached a 1990s denuclearization agreement, not Pyongyang – Bush/Cheney fully responsible for what happened.

Iran justifiably rejects changes to a deal taking years to consummate. US officials claiming it needs fixing reflects longstanding hostility toward the Islamic Republic – inventing pretexts to criticize its activities, things likely heading toward eventual confrontation.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expressed serious concern about comments by Trump and French President Macron days earlier on the JCPOA, stressing:

“Russia has repeatedly said that there is no possibility for some kind of revote for this document, changing or enlarging it.”

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov affirmed the same thing, saying there’s no alternative to the JCPOA.

By May 12, Trump must decide if Washington will stick with the deal or pull out, along with illegally reimposing nuclear related sanctions.

Based on his repeated tough talk, there’s little reason for optimism.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.