Trump Expected to Lay Out New Iran Strategy
U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to withdraw his support for the Iran nuclear agreement Friday, but stop short of completely scrapping the deal. The U.S. leader is due to lay out a new strategy.
Trump will likely declare it is not in U.S. national security interests to certify the 2015 deal that Washington reached with Iran and five other countries.
The move would kick off a 60-day period during which Congress must decide whether to reimpose some or all of the economic sanctions that had been lifted as part of the agreement.
Many Republicans and Democrats are opposed to reinstating sanctions, which would effectively kill the agreement, and media reports suggest Trump may hold off on urging Congress to do so.
Trump has called the pact "one of the dumbest deals ever" and repeatedly suggested that he may do away with it. The president has said Iran has "not lived up to the spirit" of the agreement.
Under U.S. law, the president must certify to Congress every 90 days that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal and that it is in U.S. interests to stay in the agreement. Trump has twice certified the deal, but done so unhappily, reports suggest.
The next certification deadline is October 15. The Trump administration has continued to accuse Iran of sponsoring terrorism, threatening U.S. allies in the Middle East and testing ballistic missiles. Trump has publicly lamented that the agreement does not cover these issues.
Iranian officials have stressed that the deal is not up for renegotiation. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has threatened to leave the deal "within hours" if the U.S. imposes new sanctions.
Football Star and VP are Early Frontrunners in Liberia's Election
Football icon George Weah and Vice President Joseph Bokai are the early front runners in Liberia's presidential election results, but election officials said only a third of the ballots had been counted on Thursday, three days after the vote.
Voters cast their ballots on Tuesday, marking the West African nation's first smooth transition of power from one democratically elected leadership to another in more than 70 years.
The Liberty Party, however, wants election authorities to stop counting the votes, citing voting irregularities and fraud.
Liberians went to polls to choose the successor to Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female elected head of state, who is stepping down after serving two six-year terms, as mandated by Liberia's constitution.
With 20 people running for the West African nation's highest office, analysts do not believe anyone will win over 50 percent of the vote, forcing a runoff in November.
Only one woman is vying for the presidency, while another woman, Jewel Howard Taylor, is the running mate of George Weah. Taylor is the ex-wife of former president and warlord Charles Taylor, who is serving a 50-year prison sentence for war crimes in connection with the conflict in neighboring Sierra Leone two decades ago.
Sirleaf has led Liberia through a period of peace in the aftermath of a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003. But the country remains plagued by corruption, and is still trying to recover from the Ebola crisis that killed 5,000 people in 2014 and 2015.