Decertifying Iran Nuclear Deal


An error of historic proportions by Trump


Decertifying the nuclear deal with Iran, Trump stops short of scrapping it altogether and sending the deal to his parliamentarians asking them to virtually rewrite the conditions under which sanctions may be imposed upon Iran- giving them a period of 60 days.

Bad move.

Trump is also poised to nominate Iran’s security force Revolutionary Guard Corp as a terrorist organisation. Reportedly Trump is giving encouragement to America’s allies to impose sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program-both these steps not being a part of the nuclear deal.

Very bad move.

Iran can and will blame U.S of not complying with Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which basically spells out that sanctions will not be imposed so long Iran complies with the agreement. According to the agreement, the United Nations’ organisation the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) holds complete and sole authority to determine whether or not Iran is complying with the agreed terms. The IAEA has on numerous times attested to Iran complying with the agreed terms.

Positions are already being taken by nations of the world on this crucial issue. Israel and Saudi Arabia have predictably supported Trump’s America. Israel had tried its utmost to stop the deal going through, going to the length of the Israeli President addressing a joint session of U.S Congress throwing his weight against the U.S lawmakers approving the deal. Saudi Arabia’s proxy war supporting its brand of Islam; Wahhabism vis a vis a predominant Shi’ite Iran was bound to lend support to Trump.

Vali Nasr {Dean of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies} writes, “Refusing to confirm Iran’s compliance while laying out a broad case against Iran will, in effect, invite Congress to impose new sanctions. But if other signatories to the deal side with Iran in declaring the United States in violation and resist U.S. pressure to curtail their business dealings with Iran, all that “decertification” will achieve will be to open a rift between the United States and its European allies, Russia and China. On the other hand, if the United States wins over its allies, the deal will be dead — and everyone can go back to worrying about war with a nuclear-armed Iran.” (The Washington Post October 12, 2017)

China is already supporting the deal as an excellent example of resolving an issue through talks. Russia is on the same page with China and most EU nations and support recertifying of the deal.

The refusal to recertify the deal will push Iran the North Korea way- and Trump already feels threatened by North Korea. Will Trump not feel threatened then by Iran if he is already feeling threatened when Iran has a deal and obligated to fulfill her part of the deal?

By reneging on an international agreement will U.S not be projecting herself as an unreliable partner to enter into a deal with?

Since his campaign speeches, Trump has declared this one as an ‘embarrassment’. However, once in seat of the President, the view needs to be broad based.

Trump’s ground of questioning the deal is very simplistic. “What is the purpose of a deal that at best only delays Iran’s nuclear capability for a short period of time? This, as president of the United States, is unacceptable,” Trump said in the Friday address.” (Scott Horsley: npr: October 13, 2017) One thing predictable in international relations is that it’s unpredictable. Instead of basing a decision of today based on a fear of tomorrow the decision of today should be based on confidence of an even better relationship between both nations and a friendlier Iran of tomorrow.

A very serious angle here is Iran’s importance in seeking peace in Afghanistan. The element of a lack of trust caused by this denial by Trump to nullify the deal will lead to duplicity and suspicion in dealing with the Afghan issue. Iran wields influence over western Afghanistan especially in Herat. It was Iran’s closeness with the Northern Alliance that supported US in overthrowing the Taliban way back in 2001.

Central Asia and Southwest Asia including Turkey, Armenia, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan along with The Persian Gulf and the Caucus share borders with Iran. Afghanistan has her second largest border with Iran, a geographical fact that must not be overlooked.

The decertifying of Iran nuclear deal will lead to stress and tension in the region with a spillover effect on creating peace in Afghanistan. Iran will not be very forthcoming to support US in the changed scenario.

Not everyone in U.S and White House is in agreement with Trump. “Mattis, who was testifying before Congress, was asked directly by Senator Angus King (I-ME) if he thought it was in the U.S. interest to remain in the deal, to which Mattis replied, “Yes, I do.” (Haaretz, Oct 10, 2017)

Michael Morell who served as acting and deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency under former US President Barack Obama states, “Decertification is inconsistent with the facts. The president’s own national security team has said publicly that the Iranians are not in material breach of the agreement.  Depending on what Congress does, decertification could be the first step in the US walking away from the deal, which—in the absence of a material breach by the Iranians—would be a strategic mistake of historic proportion. Regardless of what Congress does, decertification will strengthen the hardliners in Iran and it will drive a wedge between us and our European allies—both self-inflicted wounds.”

Will Trump rethink this one or lead America to open yet another front?