If Trump decertifies Iranian compliance, then Congress must vote to impose the crippling sanctions on Iran’s banks and oil exports. If Congress does that, then the nuclear deal will indeed be over.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron emphasized the importance of staying in the Iran deal in his UN General Assembly speech. “Renouncing it would be a grave error; not respecting it would be irresponsible,” he said.
Still, after his speech he told reporters, “Is this agreement enough? No, it is not, given the evolution of the regional situation and increasing pressure that Iran is exerting on the region, and given increased activity by Iran on the ballistic level since the accord.”
France and the UK oppose reopening the Iran deal, but they are open to trying to pressure Iran to agree to supplemental fixes to it, such as removing the sunset provisions that limit Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium and the number of advanced centrifuges they can assemble, and addressing Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles.
Western defenders of the nuclear deal say that the US can punish Iran for its testing of missiles, human rights violations, and support for terrorism. The Iranians say that these issues were not covered under the JCPOA.
Iran’s envoys complained that America was not living up to its end of the bargain, soon after the deal was implemented in January 2016. In April, 2016, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told the New Yorker that the US was obligated to assure European banks that there will be no penalties for doing business with Iran. However, the Treasury Department still maintains sanctions against working with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. Zarif added that “if one side does not comply with the agreement then the agreement will start to falter.”
Trump’s threats to exit from the deal has Iran’s leaders talking tough, but so far, new US sanctions have not prompted the Iranians to walk away. Still, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said this week at the UN that there is no renegotiating the deal struck in 2015.
According to his article for Gulf News, Eli Lake, American journalist and former senior national security correspondent for Newsweek believes, “At this point Trump should consider appointing a special envoy for fixing the Iran deal.” He says,“Trump’s new envoy should be someone with years of experience in arms control and international law. In other words, it should be someone like John Bolton, the former acting US ambassador to the United Nations.”
However, Bolton has opposes the nuclear deal, and recently published his plan for withdrawing from it. Additionally, it is said that Bolton has a reputation for not playing well with others. However, since appeasement policies haven’t worked, a tougher negotiator may be necessary.