London, Washington-The victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential elections places the Iranian nuclear deal in danger and brings it back to the political and media front with an emerging possibility of changing or annulling it.
During his election campaign, the president-elect had described the agreement as the worst deal ever negotiated by the U.S.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner spoke about the possibility of dropping the agreement but defended on Thursday the Obama administration for passing it, saying the current U.S. administration believes it is in Washington’s interest to hold onto it.
Toner added that if the U.S. decides to withdraw from the deal, Iran would begin rebuilding its nuclear weapons program. “Yes. That’s the reality of the situation,” he said.
From his part, Walid Phares, one of Donald Trump’s foreign policy advisers told BBC radio on Thursday that the new administration plans to “take the agreement, review it, send it to Congress, demand from the Iranians to restore few issues or change few issues, and there will be a discussion.”
In a linked development, contacts made in the past few days between European leaders and the President-elect uncovered their concern over Trump’s policies, asking for clarifications on some of his positions.
French President Francois Hollande held a phone conversation with the President-elect during which they agreed to clarify positions on key issues such as the Middle East and Ukraine, a source in Hollande’s camp said.
Also, UK Prime Minister Theresa May affirmed America’s special relationship with Britain during a telephone call to congratulate Trump, at a time the UK hopes to consolidate trade relations with the U.S. following Brexit.
In Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the U.S. election results would have no effect on the country’s policies.
The Iran deal stipulates reducing the number of its centrifuges by two-thirds, surpassing its level of uranium enrichment well below the level needed for bomb-grade material, reducing its enriched uranium stockpile and submitting to international inspections to verify its compliance.
“If Trump adopts hostile policies towards Iran, this will empower hardliners in Iran,” a senior Iranian official told Reuters on condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of his comments.
A second senior Iranian official said: “Trump’s victory will unite Iran’s hardliners and their supporters … It means more political pressure at home and an aggressive regional policy.”
“Many Iranians and the government see the nuclear deal as the only way to get Iran out of economic isolation,” said the first Iranian official. “I don’t think Trump will tear up the nuclear deal.”