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It’s risky for Trump to abandon the Iranian nuclear deal

U.S. defense secretary James Mattis said on Tuesday it is not in the country's national security interest for President Donald Trump to abandon the landmark deal clinched between Iran and six world powers of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US after decade-long negotiations in July 2015 to curb Iran’s nuclear programme.

Mattis’ remarks at a congressional hearing came at a time when Trump is weighing whether to abandon the deal negotiated during the Obama administration.

“The point I would make is, if we can confirm that Iran is living by the agreement, if we can determine that this is in our best interest, then clearly, we should stay with it,” Mattis testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the "Political and Security Situation in Afghanistan" on Capitol Hill in Washington. “I believe, at this point in time, absent indications to the contrary, it is something the President should consider staying with.”

Trump has lately suggested that he may refuse to certify to Congress that Iran is complying with the landmark 2015 accord.

If Trump walks away from the pact, cybersecurity experts say it is likely Iran could resume its attacks against Western targets should Trump actually follow through with his threat.

Over the last two years, U.S. banks and government agencies have enjoyed a notable respite from malicious Iranian cyber activity. The timing of this drop-off happens to coincide with the signing of the nuclear deal with Iran in 2015.

“The story that I’m concerned about now is if the nuclear deal were to fall apart or get rescinded, what would be Iran’s reaction and what would they consider effective retribution against Western targets?” said Adam Meyers, vice president of intelligence at CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity company.

Congress would get the opportunity to vote on reimposing sanctions on Iran if Trump refuses to certify Iran this month.
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