Two years since the signing of the Iran deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the agreement has remained a controversial topic within the American political sphere. There has been much disagreement as to how to handle the deal, and even if it’s worth it to pull out of the deal entirely. When President Donald Trump ran for president, he promised to rip the deal apart his first day of office, and although he has not done that yet, his position remains that the deal should be dismantled or restructured. Trump, along with those who are against keeping the Iran deal how it is, believe that it is best to pull out of the Iran deal by re-sanctioning Iran. Trump put his statements to action by refusing to certify that Iran has complied with the Iran deal. He believes that Iran has not kept their side of the deal, with many different accounts of so. First, he claims that Iran has exceeded the limit of 130 metric tons of heavy water. Not only that, but Trump mentioned that only till recently did Iran meet the expectations in its operation of advanced centrifuges. Iran has also abused the rights given to the US for inspections of Iran, specifically their military sites. Imposing sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, ballistic missile program, and sponsoring of terrorism are solutions Trump and his following believe can work around the Iran Deal. Adding onto it, if these sanctions don’t serve their purpose or Iran continues to “break the deal”, the most beneficial solution would be to simply leave the deal and hypothetical snapback the harsh sanctions that were placed on Iran before the deal.
On the contrary, many believe that it’s in the best interest of the United States to stay in the Iran deal and comply with the expectations given to the US. Most Democrats and many Republicans agree with this side of the argument, claiming that there are too many risks involved with simply leaving or not fully observing the deal. In response to Trump not certifying that Iran has kept the deal, Representatives Ted Deutsch, David Price, and the entire House Democratic Leadership wrote a letter urging Trump not to decertify Iranian compliance. From their viewpoint, JCPOA has done its job of limiting Iran’s nuclear program, and preventing a nuclear bomb. Even if this wasn’t completely true, if there’s no concrete evidence of Iranian violation of the agreement, they believe that dropping the deal would jeopardize national security and embolden Iran. Most importantly, it would harm the US’s relations with foreign nations that believe the JCPOA is doing its job and don’t want more economic sanctions with Iran. The US would lose the trust of their international allies, which would hurt united efforts to stop the nuclear crisis in North Korea and Iran. Realistically, the EU and other allies are happy retaining economic relations with Iran, and do not want to see that end without clear evidence that Iran had broken the deal.
In conclusion, it’s clear that it’s in the best interest of both the US and Israel to have the US stay in the JCPOA, while still looking to sanction or perhaps fix the flaws. The negatives that come with leaving the deal are too risky, including losing the trust of international peers as well as an Iran that is free from any restrictions in its nuclear program. Along with so, the US has already given Iran the financial boost, and it’s best now that the US just gets as much as they can from their side of the deal. The US should certainly focus on creating stricter inspections to ensure that Iran complies with their side of the deal. On the side, the US and its allies should focus on working around the deal and sanctioning other facets of the Iranian regime not included in the JCPOA – including ballistic missiles and terrorism. This would continue to crush Iran’s economy and perhaps – if the US is lucky enough – bring Iran back to the table.