Will US President Trump Certify Iran’s Compliance with the Nuclear Deal?

Under the statute that calls for presidential findings every 90 days, the president, in re-certifying, represented to Congress and the American people that:
– Iran is “transparently, verifiably, and fully implementing the agreement”
– Continuing the JCPOA is “vital to the national security interests of the United States”

Iran may not be “transparently, verifiably, and fully implementing” the JCPOA. As well, Iran stands accused of being the world’s top sponsor of terrorism, and maintains its program of ballistic-missile development against Security Council resolutions. Iran also continues to menace American naval vessels. There are those who would question that the deal is “vital to the national security interests” of the US.

Andrew C. McCarthy III, former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, writes in his article for The National Review, that, “An aggressive sanctions regimen would punish not only Iran but governments and corporations that do business with Iran. As former Senate staffer Richard Goldberg recounts, this kind of pressure works. Would there be caterwauling by countries, their heavy-hitter businesses, and even such American companies as Boeing that chase profits in Iran? Yes, of course.

If the Trump administration were serious, though, these calculating players would understand in short order that, if they want access to the $19 trillion U.S. economy, they must shun Iran. They would shun Iran. And while Iran might not change its behavior, what I am proposing presents the only realistic chance of convincing Iran to change its behavior, especially if we unapologetically pursue other ways to squeeze the regime — as opposed to preserving the JCPOA, which obliges us to be supportive of the regime. Trump the Businessman has long maintained that the art of the deal is knowing when to walk away from the table…”

October 15th is the deadline for the president to decide on whether or not to certify Iran’s compliance. The JCPOA has many detractors as well as defenders. Its fate will affect not only the US and Iran, but the other countries involved in the nuclear deal, who have a financial interest in keeping the deal in force. However, it is clear that Iran must not get nuclear weapons, and must honor its obligations on weapons development and proliferation.