Since Donald Trump took office in January, he has set out to reverse many of Obama’s most disastrous policies.
While congressional opposition certainly plays a role in limiting what the president can do, there are areas where his executive authority is enough. Sadly, for Barack Obama, many of his most heralded policies were implemented through the use of executive authority, making them easy for Trump to overturn.
Perhaps Obama’s most famous executive action was the Iran nuclear deal, which he set in motion without gaining congressional approval. According to law, any treaty must gain approval from the United States Senate, a threshold Obama failed to reach. As such, the agreement can easily be undermined by future executives. According to a new report, President Trump is planning to do just that.
President Donald Trump is expected to announce soon that he will decertify the landmark international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program, a senior administration official said on Thursday, in a step that could lead to renewed U.S. sanctions against Tehran.
The decision on the nuclear deal is expected to be only part of what Trump will announce, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official said Trump is also expected to roll out a broader U.S. strategy on Iran that would be more confrontational. The Trump administration has frequently criticized Iran’s conduct in the Middle East.
If true, Trump’s move could open the door for Congress to reintroduce sanctions:
If Trump declines to certify Iran’s compliance with the accord, U.S. congressional leaders would have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Tehran suspended under the agreement.
Put in place in 2015, many critics have been skeptical of the deal’s ability to bring meaningful change. Aside from its lax enforcement structure, the major restrictions of the deal will expire in 10-15 years. Similar to the situation in North Korea, Obama’s grand bargain with Iran could simply be seen as kicking the can down the road.
On the campaign trail, President Trump was one of the many to express his skepticism of Obama’s Iran deal. Less than a year into his first term, Trump seems poised to take major action to reverse it.
[Note: This post was written by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]