The White House will host separate visits from French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel later this month, both of whom are expected to try to persuade Trump to remain in the deal that he has promised to withdraw from on several occasions.
The European countries want the deal to continue because companies within their borders are getting a lot of economic benefits from the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Iran has also threatened multiple times to restart its entire nuclear programme within just four days if the US pulls out, which indicates that their nuclear programme was never shut down as the JCPOA stated it should be and provides more evidence that Iran is violating more than just the spirit of the agreement.
In January, Trump issued a final deadline on the nuclear accord asking the European countries to work with the US in order to fix massive flaws in the deal by May 12. As of yet, not much progress has been made and it’s unlikely that the flaws will be fixed in time.
These are the fixes that Trump wants to be included in the deal:
• increased inspections of suspected nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency
• an end to the sunset provisions that allow Iran to legally restart advanced nuclear work in just a few years
• restrictions that target Iran’s ballistic missile testing and destabilizing regional behaviour
Two senior US officials who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that the negotiators are “close to agreement” on the ballistic missiles and increased inspections, but not on the sunset clauses or Iran’s “malign” activities, which include support for terrorists like Hezbollah and Hamas.
There is a proposed compromise for the sunset clauses, which would impose sanctions if Iran had reduced the timescale to produce nuclear weapons to less than a year. However, it’s not exactly comforting that Iran would be able to develop nuclear weapons by 2025; a year after the first restriction expires.
What should be done?
The West should not fall for the Iranian Regime’s lies about the nuclear programme and should either work harder to address the flaws or unilaterally pull out of the deal.
If the other countries pulled out of the deal and resumed sanctions on Iran, it would allow the Iranian people to better rise up against the Regime and defeat the mullahs from within.
Luckily, Trump’s cabinet is now stocked with people who aren’t afraid to get tough on the Iranian Regime, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton. They both share Trump’s disdain for the deal and will not prevent him from pulling out as others have over the past year.