US President Donald Trump said on July 18 that a 100-year deal is needed with Iran, adding that the 2015 nuclear deal was “a disaster” most importantly because it would be ending soon.
This was the second time in less than a day that Trump has criticized the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for its short term.
First, he said during a cabinet meeting on July 18 that the agreement made under former Secretary of State John Kerry and then-President Barack Obama was a disaster, as $1.8 billion was given in cash, “like cash from your pocket,” to Iran.
“We had an agreement that did not give us inspection rights to places we wanted most to inspect.... Most importantly, the agreement was short-term,” Trump said, noting that very few years were left from the term of that agreement.
Then, speaking at a meeting to welcome Team USA for the 2019 Special Olympics World Games, he said, “You know, it’s a very short-term deal. And you can’t have a short-term deal for a country. You need a 100-year deal. You don’t need a short term. In a few years - literally in a few years - they would be on their way to a nuclear weapon. That’s unacceptable.”
Mentioning another shortcoming of JCPOA, Trump said, “Plus, they can’t do ballistic missiles, and the deal allows them to do ballistic missiles. And we have to look at other sites.”
He also touched upon the issue of inspections again, saying, “The best, the most important site we we’re not allowed to go in and look at. What kind of a deal is that?”
“I will say that Iran is a much different country right now,” he continued. “When I took over, and Mike and I came into office, Iran was the scourge of the world. They were doing 14 different sites of confliction. They were fighting and causing problems in Yemen and Syria and Iraq and all over.”
“It’s a much different country right now,” he added. “And you look at what’s happening. You look at them pulling back. And they’re not pulling back because they love us; they’re pulling back because they don’t have money.”
Trump also noted a change of behavior in Europe. “So, Iran is not the same country. They have inflation now at 75 percent,” he said. “They’re having tremendous problems within the country. They’re selling very little oil. We have an embargo. We have a stop on oil. Even the European countries are now agreeing with me.”
Looking at the prospects for the future, while suggesting a long-term deal with Iran, he went on to say, “It’s very sad what happened to Iran. All we want to do is have a fair deal. The deal that was made was a bad deal. It was not approved by Congress. A lot of problems with the deal that was made. And we can do something quickly or we can take our time. I’m in no rush.”
In another development, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in New York on July 19 that Iran is prepared to join the additional protocol of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if the United States lifts all of its sanctions.
The additional protocol would give inspectors permanent rights to inspect Iran’s nuclear establishments at any time. However, joining the additional protocol needs the approval of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and ratification by the Iranian parliament.
According to the IAEA, “The additional protocol is not a standalone agreement but rather a protocol to a safeguards agreement that provides additional tools for verification. In particular, it significantly increases the IAEA’s ability to verify the peaceful use of all nuclear material in states with comprehensive safeguards agreements.”