White House, U.S. lawmakers reported negotiating changes in Iran Deal legislation

White House, U.S. lawmakers reported negotiating changes in Iran Deal legislation

The White House is working with leading U.S. lawmakers on legislation designed to enable the United States to remain in the Iran nuclear deal, Radio Farda reports, citing senior U.S. officials

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told The Associated Press in an interview on January 5 that changes to the U.S. law that codified U.S. participation the 2015 agreement could come as early as next week.

AP and Reuters reported that the White House is working on the legislation with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and the panel's top Democrat, Senator Ben Cardin.

The two lawmakers discussed the legislation at the White House last week with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, they reported.

President Donald Trump faces deadlines in coming days that will force him to decide how to proceed with the agreement, they reported.

Despite strongly criticizing the accord, which requires Iran to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief, Trump has not withdrawn the United States from the agreement since taking office a year ago.

AP and Reuters reported that the legislative changes being negotiated with the White House include face-saving measures that would enable the president to live with the deal, such as eliminating a requirement that the administration certify every 90 days whether Iran is in compliance.

The Trump administration certified Iran's compliance twice last year, but in October Trump for the first time declined to certify, pointing to Iran's ballistic missile development and other matters which he said were in violation of the "spirit" of the deal.

Despite decertifying the deal, Trump continued to waive the imposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil sector for another three months, and he left the ultimate decision on whether to stay in the deal to Congress.

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