Obama admin officials slam Trump's Iran deal announcement

Trump decertifies Iran nuclear deal (full)
Trump decertifies Iran nuclear deal (full)


    Trump decertifies Iran nuclear deal (full)


Trump decertifies Iran nuclear deal (full) 18:33

Washington (CNN)Former Obama administration officials are decrying President Donald Trump's announcement that he will potentially halt the US' participation in the Iran nuclear deal, and are warning that the move could jeopardize the United States' position at the negotiating table for future agreements.

"After today, what incentive would the leadership in North Korea have to sit down with the United States, China and other partners to negotiate a diplomatic resolution to the escalating nuclear crisis?" Vice President Joe Biden wrote on Facebook. "After today, why would the rest of the world join us in pushing for a diplomatic solution we might not uphold? After today, what is America's word worth in the world?"
Trump formally announced on Friday he would pull out of the agreement completely if Congress and US allies do not work to address "the deal's many serious flaws."
Citing "multiple violations of the agreement," Trump said Iran had failed to meet its end of the 2015 deal. However, the International Atomic Energy Agency, American allies and the US government all have said Tehran is complying with the official pact.
    Biden is one of several former officials from the Obama era -- the administration under which the deal was constructed -- who responded to Trump and shared their own set of concerns regarding the US' new approach.
    In a statement issued on Friday, former Secretary of State John Kerry said Trump's decision is "creating an international crisis."
    "I can't tell you why the President can't acknowledge what the IAEA, our allies, and the adults in his own cabinet all know to be true: Iran has lived up to its end of the nuclear agreement, and as long as they continue to do so, we and our allies are infinitely more secure than we would be without it. But whatever his reasons, the reality is that by destabilizing the agreement, the President weakens our hand, alienates us from our allies, empowers Iranian hardliners, makes it harder to resolve North Korea, and risks moving us closer to military conflict," Kerry wrote.
    Ben Rhodes, Obama's former deputy national security adviser who served as an adviser to the President on the Iran deal, also warned that the risk of passing legislation on the deal "could lead us into a war."
    "Essentially, Trump is urging Congress to do something that could precipitate a nuclear crisis with Iran at the same time that he is faced with a significant crisis on the Korean peninsula," Rhodes said. "What Trump is doing with Iran is going to make it that much harder for him to achieve any diplomatic resolution with North Korea."
    Wendy Sherman, a negotiator for the Iran deal, said the United States has "weakened our position and isolated ourselves."
    "When the President goes to China next month, wanting China to be tougher with North Korea, get North Korea into some serious dialogue, China will be in a very difficult position to say to North Korea, 'well you should in fact sit down with the Americans,' when in fact the Americans have just put a deal at risk to make sure that Iran doesn't obtain nuclear weapons," Sherman said.
    When criticizing the deal, Trump said he took issue with the "sunset" provision. But former Obama officials pushed back.
    "The fear of a future sunset should not lead us out of some kind of illogical approach to fast-forward sunset and bring it to our doorstep," said Robert Malley, a negotiator for the Iran deal.
    "I think that this is entirely about Trump's annoyance with the certification process, which forces him to certify that Iran is complying with the deal, that the deal is working, and that all of his bombastic rhetoric about the deal has been based in dishonesty," Rhodes said.
    Biden wrote that the President's decision "goes (against) reason and evidence."
    "So President Trump's decision today to decertify the nuclear deal goes (against) reason and evidence," Biden wrote on Facebook. "It constitutes an unfounded and unnecessary threat to America's national security -- one that inflicts lasting damage to American global leadership. Unilaterally putting the deal at risk does not isolate Iran. It isolates us."
    Kerry called on Congress to take up the issue.
    "Congress now gets an opportunity to be the adult in the room and act in America's genuine national security interest. The country and the world really are watching," he said.
    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani responded to Trump shortly after his announcement, and said it was not only up to Trump.
    "This is an international, multilateral deal that has been ratified by the UN Security Council," Rouhani said. "It is a UN document. Is it possible for a President to unilaterally decertify this deal? Apparently, he's not in the know."