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Plans for Iran Nuclear Deal

Summary 

The Iran Nuclear Deal, which has been repeatedly maligned by President Trump as an “embarrassment” and “the worst deal ever” may be left in an uncertain position this Sunday, as Trump plans to decertify the agreement. The agreement, formed in 2015 with Iran, China, Russia, France, the UK, and Germany, agreed to remove economic sanctions on the Middle Eastern state in return for their cooperation in reducing their nuclear program. Trump already issued waivers of sanctions relief in September, as per the agreement, but the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act requires him to now either certify the agreement every 3 months or pass it on to Congress to review new potential sanctions.

The cause of Trump’s skepticism in regards to the deal is Iran’s continued testing of ballistic missiles, which they argue are purely in the interest of self-defense. While this testing does not expressly violate the 2015 agreement, Iran has assured foreign leaders that they are willing to discuss limits to its military program. In regards to the decertification of the deal, Iranian Foreign Defense Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif asserted that “If Washington decides to pull out of the deal, Iran has the option of withdrawal and other options”.

Analysis

While Republican lawmakers were on board to criticize the Iran deal during its initiation, Barbara Slavin of the Atlantic Council has argued that they are far less critical of the deal now that they don’t have a president in office who will veto any attempt to end it. Republican leaders prominent in American foreign relations such as Bob Corker and Ed Royce are both now condemning Trump’s disdainful treatment of international agreements. This propensity to avoid the responsibility of killing the deal seemingly extends to the White House, considering Trump’s decision to leave the question of sanctions up to Congress after decertifying, rather than simply electing not to issue sanction waivers to Iran in September.

It’s not surprising that finding a Republican willing to follow through on rhetoric and dismantle the Iran deal is such an elusive task; there’s really no upside. Iran is hesitant to trust the U.S. already and making tangible progress on reducing aggression was hard earned. Reneging on our agreements so quickly only serves to strengthen the voices of hardliners in Iran who would rather see the country fully pursue militarism. Also, even just the suggestion of sanctions could create a hesitancy for foreign businesses to re-invest in the Iranian economy, which has been crushed by pre-agreement sanctions.

Engagement Resources

  • Support the Center for Human Rights in Iran: The CHRI is an independent, nonprofit organization working to protect human rights in Iran through reporting and media outreach. You can donate on their website.
  • Read a longform article by the Atlantic which evaluates the merits of the Iran deal
  • Call your representatives and ask that they commit to vote against sanctions if Trump decertifies the deal.

This brief was compiled by Colin Shanley. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief please contact colin@usresistnews.org.


 

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