And this is what Trump did. He decertified Iran’s compliance with the JPCOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).
Responses to this varied. Iran, of course, was not happy. The President of the Islamic Republic, Hassan Rouhani, slammed Trump’s position. Angrily.
On the other hand, the countries that are negatively impacted by Iran’s actions in the region have spoken out in praise for Trump’s decision. They also criticised the silence that has accompanied Iran’s belligerence. It is this very silence that has let the Iranian regime move further and further across the weapons with the use of conventional weapons and the support of its many militias and proxies.
There has been so much attention drawn to the nuclear threat coming from Iran, but very little is said about the political threat.
Iran’s aim is regional hegemony. It sponsors, trains and assists numerous sectarian groups and militias, notably the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is one of the most dangerous forces that spreads terror and intervenes in many political and security situations in the country. Worryingly, it is in complete control of a large portion of the country’s economy.
The “Quds Force”, a branch of the IRGC, intervenes abroad. Its commander, Qassem Suleimani, despite being listed as a terrorist, regularly flaunts around in front of media on the front lines in Syria and Iraq.
It must also be remembered that there is another aspect to Iran’s nuclear threat. Parts of Iran are home to extremely unstable seismic fault lines, on top of which Iran has placed many of its reactors and other nuclear installations. If we look back to 2011, the Fukushima disaster in Japan reminds us just how urgent the situation is.
The United States is relatively alone in its strong condemnation of the nuclear deal. The United Kingdom, Germany and France – the European signatories of the deal – have all criticised Trump’s decertification and reiterated that they remain committed to keeping the deal in place.
Unfortunately, it seems likely that these countries are very keen to keep the deal intact because their countries stand to make a great deal, financially, from it. These governments have been encouraged by their banks and enterprises in their country to make the most of the promising Iranian market.
However, let us not forget that Iran is responsible for the refugee crisis that the West has experienced recently and it is the number one sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East.
The Iranian regime suppresses its people at home and it targets religious and ethnic minorities. It is one of the leading countries in terms of executions per capita, and the justice system is so corrupt that people are executed without due process.
It is time for the leaders in the international community to acknowledge that Iran’s behaviour must be linked to the Iran nuclear deal.