This policy of questioning agreements to which America had subscribed is leading to discomfort and even outright opposition not only in the whole of the US political class but above all within the international community. In this environment of disengagement that the American president is initiating or proceeding with, waves of messages are fluttering out of the White House. These could mean that America is in “inward” contemplation; attitude that could potentially weaken its credibility at the international level. The paroxysm could be reached by Trump mulling decertification of the Iran deal. Also many are wondering why it matters now and to whom it does matter the most.
As a matter of fact, since the United States are led by Donald Trump they have left, or threaten to do so, international agreements that his predecessor Barack Obama and his administration have negotiated and signed on their behalf. They withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free-trade agreement across the Pacific, the Paris agreement on climate, NAFTA, the free trade and lastly the UNESCO, a UN Organization, because according to the White House it would be “anti-Israel”.
An article of BROOKINGS MARKAZ written by Ilan Goldenberg, Senior Fellow and Director, Middle East Security program – Center for a New American Security and Mara Karlin, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Security and Strategy – Foreign Policy, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence caught our attention this morning. It touches on all that.
In several days, President Donald Trump will almost certainly refuse to certify that Iran is complying with its obligations under the nuclear deal. While this doesn’t amount to walking away from the agreement, it certainly places it in peril.
The deal’s critics focus on two central points: expiration dates and bad behaviour. The first point underscores concern that elements of the agreement, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), expire in 10 to 15 years, after which limits on Iran’s uranium enrichment capability go away. The second point highlights Iran’s continued destabilizing activities, including ballistic missile development and support for surrogates and proxies in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen.
These questions are real. But for us, two former Pentagon officials in the Bush and Obama administrations who worked on Iran and the broader Middle East, today’s debates sound almost quaint compared to the questions we were grappling with in those years. These days, we cannot forget where America was before the breakthroughs of 2013 and 2015, which first froze the Iranian nuclear program and then rolled it back.
Please read more on BROOKINGS.
We would advise reading of this BROOKINGS advertised book titled
The Nuclear Deal and the Quest for a New Moderation
By Suzanne Maloney January 29, 2019