Now, nearly two years into the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Tehran is accusing the U.S. of being in violation of the deal, and a feature in the New York Times charge backs this claim up.
The U.S. president reportedly certified Iran’s compliance at the behest of his counselors, and against his own inclinations. Perhaps the next time the U.S. has to certify compliance; Trump will stick to his convictions and say no. America’s allies won’t like it, but the U.S. can push them to follow its lead and confront Iran.
In Jonathan S. Tobin’s article for The National Review, he writes, “The Times is technically correct about America’s violation. As the article helpfully points out, the deal’s text states that the signatories ‘will refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran inconsistent with their commitments not to undermine the successful implementation’ of the agreement. And yet the administration announced new sanctions just a day after certifying that Iran was in compliance with the letter (if not the spirit) of the deal, alleging that Iran was supporting terrorists and continuing work on a ballistic-missile program that violates U.N. resolutions.”
Some now claim that Trump is killing the deal with the new sanctions, but others say that the deal did nothing to moderate Iran’s behavior in the region. The argument for preserving the deal is that it postpones an Iranian bomb for a decade. Violating the agreement now would free the Iranians to resume the nuclear activity and quickly move to a build a weapon. Still, after it expires, Tehran can do, as it likes. The question is how the West could punish Iran in a ‘worst case’ scenario.
According to Tobin, “It is true that neither the Western Europeans nor the Russians and the Chinese have the least interest in starting over with Iran. With the possible exception of the French, all of America’s partners in the talks were satisfied with a weak deal and eager to avoid a confrontation with Iran. None of them supports scrapping the agreement, let alone going toe-to-toe with the Iranians again. And without international support, unilateral U.S. sanctions would be futile.”
However, Tobin adds “the same sanctions that bite the Iranians could also compel other nations to comply. If the U.S. is serious about stopping Iran, it can make it clear that those who do business with Tehran will also be prohibited from conducting transactions with U.S. banks. Since the U.S. is the linchpin of the global economy, that means U.S. sanctions can isolate Iran no matter what the Germans, Russians, or Chinese think.”
The U.S. should take action to turn back the clock to 2013. It must be made clear to Iran that if it want to re-enter the global economy, it must renounce its nuclear program for good, and refrain from exporting terrorism. Tobin writes, “It’s the most sensible course for the United States to follow if it wants to stop the terror threat and forestall an Iranian bomb.”