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Iran nuclear deal

Trump will disavow but not ditch the Iran nuclear deal

On Friday, President Trump will largely wash his hands of the nuclear deal reached with Iran, Russia, China, and three European countries, according to a summary released by the White House late Thursday. Trump has long railed against the deal, grudgingly certifying Iran's compliance two times, and by announcing he is neither certifying it again nor trying to amend it for now, he will leave up to Congress whether to impose deal-wrecking sanctions.

Trump is encouraging Congress to establish "trigger points" on sanctions, but it is unclear if Congress will muster agreement to do anything. The New York Times describes the new Iran strategy as a "face-saving compromise" between Trump and his national security officials, who favor sticking with the Iran deal. Along with Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Trump was getting increasing pressure to not scrap the deal from people outside his administration like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, hawkish former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Uzi Arad, a former Israeli intelligence chief and top aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a strident critic of the deal.

Trump's new strategy "focuses on neutralizing the government of Iran's destabilizing influence and constraining its aggression, particularly its support for terrorism and militants," the White House summary says. Trump will announce plans to contain the Iranian Revolutionary Guards but not designated it a foreign terrorist organization, as threatened.