The following is an opinion submitted by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, former special assistant to the President of the United States, Donald Trump:
"This week President Obama’s disastrous JCPOA “Iran Deal” is up for recertification by the President.
I was in the Oval Office with President Trump the last time the Administration had to take this decision that happens every 90 days.
Then the President did not want to recertify Iranian compliance and only I and Steve Bannon, the President’s Chief Strategist, were in support of his decertifying the deal. The others in the room, Rex Tillerson, General McMaster, and Secretary Mnuchin all argued for recertification, and against his better judgement, the President decided to recertify compliance.
However, his instinct was not to do so, and it was the right instinct.
Since then, and after leaving my position in the White House, I have stood by my prediction that the President will not recertify the deal a third time, and my conversations with him have reinforced me in that expectation.
I know President Trump does not wish to create what some in his cabinet refer to as a potential “crisis” by fully withdrawing us from the deal completely and is therefore going with simply decertification. (He has every right to unilaterally withdraw use from the whole agreement, since the Obama White House deliberately demurred from making the JCPOA an international treaty since they knew it would never be approved by the Senate, so the decision to do so would be his alone).
However, if the President simply decertifies the JCPOA and doesn’t withdraw completely, then the story isn’t over. And Americans will be none the safer from illicit and overt activity by Iran. All that will happen, is that a new clock will start ticking for Congress to consider “snapping-back” the prior nuclear sanctions on Tehran. At that point the Iran Deal will start to be seen not just as “Obama’s JCPOA” but as the “Obama—Trump JCPOA,” an albatross around the neck of the new Administration which the President has not freed himself of despite calling it the worst ever deal in history.
Instead of simply decertification and keeping the original JCPOA alive, the President must send a very clear signal that he will not be held hostage by a deal that released $150 Billion dollars to a state that remains the greatest state-sponsor of terrorism today.
Therefore, in addition to decertifying Iran this week, he must exercise the mandate given him this year by Congress, to designate the Iranian Republican Guard Corps (IRGC) a Terrorist Organization.
In August, President Trump signed The Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act which requires him to make a terrorism designation pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 with regard to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its foreign agents and affiliates by October 30th 2017. The law states, “The IRGC, not just the IRGC-QF [the Qods Force, the Guard’s extraterritorial branch], is responsible for implementing Iran’s international program of destabilizing activities, support for acts of international terrorism, and ballistic missile program.” and that E.O. 13224 is aimed at freezing the assets of terrorists and their supporters, while isolating them from the US financial and commercial systems.
Such a designation is long overdue. Not only is Iran destabilizing the whole of the Middle East from Yemen to Syria, its proxies threaten our closest friend Israel, and its agents have been responsible for the deaths of countless US servicemen and women in Iraq.
President Trump has shown in a short amount of time his great respect for those who wear the cloth of the Republic and that he is willing to stand by our friends and stand up to our enemies. Since 1979 Iran has been our implacable foe. Now is the time to tell the world that Tehran’s terrorist arm will no longer be ignored.
Such a designation by the President, in parallel with decertification of the JCPOA would clear the decks of a new comprehensive approach to the Shia Jihadi threat that is the theocratic dictatorship of the mullahs.
I know how seriously our Commander-in-Chief takes his primary responsibility to protect all Americans. Now is the right time for him to reverse 8 years of lies and obfuscation when it comes to a regime that daily calls for our destruction as it attempts to acquire nuclear weapons.
If President Trump decertifies the JCPOA and simultaneously designates the IRGC and its agents for the terrorists they are, this will be the first time in 8 years that the American President will have spoken truthfully about Iran."
Sebastian Gorka Ph.D. is the Chief Strategist of the Make America Great Again Coalition, www.MAGAcoalition.com and served as Strategist and Deputy Assistant to President Donald J. Trump. @SebGorka