President Donald Trump might have walked away from the Iran nuclear deal, but he fully expects Iran to continue honoring its part of the bargain.
White House officials said the president wants UN inspections of Iran’s facilities to continue and will provide the funds to keep the inspections active.
"The United States will continue to support robust implementation of IAEA inspections in Iran to the full extent of the IAEA's authority," an official at the U.S. mission to the International Atomic Energy Association in Vienna told the German news agency dpa.
Known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal between Tehran and major world powers forced Iran to open any site to inspectors within 24 days. The pact also instituted 24-hour remote surveillance at some Iranian sites, among other first-ever inspection regimes.
Trump contends that the monitoring program is not sufficient, saying when he announced U.S. withdrawal from the deal that Iran could not be thwarted “under the decaying and rotten structure” of the agreement.
Despite maintaining that the inspection regime is too weak, AFP reported that U.S. officials nevertheless expect the UN inspections to continue even as the United States moves to reinstitute tough sanctions on Iran.
The U.S. expectation that the inspections will continue appears to be based on pledges from Iran and the five other world powers that signed the accord that they will continue to honor it despite the U.S. withdrawal.
However, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last week that Trump’s actions showed that the U.S. cannot be trusted, and he questioned how much faith could be placed in America’s allies.
A top Iranian general on May 10 echoed Khamenei's skepticism, questioning whether European powers France, Germany, and Britain can accomplish their goal of preserving the agreement even after the U.S. withdrawal.
Those countries "cannot act independently" from the United States, despite their promises to do so, Iranian Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the deputy head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, was quoted as saying by Iranian news services on May 10.
"Today, we are in an economic war," he said. "Resistance is the only way to confront these enemies, not diplomacy."