Revisiting The Iran Deal

editor Saturday 14 October 2017 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email Printer friendly

By David Harris.. This week, President Donald Trump is expected to speak on Iran and, specifically, the fate of the Iran deal (JCPOA). We have been following the Iran policy discussion closely for years, and are in touch with a wide range of decision-makers from the U.S. and overseas. From the start, AJC took a deliberative approach to the JCPOA, just as we will do depending on what the president says regarding certification/decertification of the deal and the role of Congress going forward. [Photo top right: US Pres Donald Trump, photo credit: YURI GRIPAS / REUTERS] After the announcement of the agreement, on July 14, 2015, we dedicated 23 days to reviewing it thoroughly, meeting privately with a number of world leaders, including Secretary of State John Kerry, in the process.

In the end, we opposed the deal, believing it fell short on several key fronts, among them:

  • The shift in negotiating strategy from “dismantle (the nuclear program) for dismantle (the international sanctions)” to “delay (the nuclear program) for dismantle (the sanctions)”;
  • The provision of a sunset clause, paving the way for Iran to become a nuclear-threshold nation down the road;
  • The failure to address Iran’s ballistic missile program;
  • The omission of military sites from those facilities subject to inspection; and
  • The absence of any reference to Iran’s support for terrorism and regional destabilization.

At the same time, we said that we would be happy to be proved wrong, though any verdict would obviously take time. Needless to say, if the JCPOA fulfilled all the claims made about it by its supporters — including, centrally, cutting off Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon forever—then we would readily acknowledge our error in judgment.

But in the past two years, despite the Obama Administration’s belief, which we heard directly more than once, that the accord would “moderate” Iranian behavior and strengthen the “moderates in the regime,” the inescapable reality is that, as we predicted at the time, the opposite has happened. Tehran has only become more emboldened and belligerent in the region, as well as more hostile towards the United States and Israel. Read the full story.


Also read: Iran attempted to buy nuclear technology illegally 32 times, German agency says


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