National Interest Op-ed: Don’t Rejoin the Iran Deal, Fix It

by David Albright and Andrea Stricker

April 5, 2019

Reentering the Iran nuclear deal and dropping U.S. sanctions, as some have recommended, will only increase the risks of Iran developing nuclear weapons.

Should the United States rejoin the Iran nuclear deal and rescind reimposed U.S. sanctions? This course of action is being recommended by deal supporters, who want to reverse the Trump administration’s decision last year to unilaterally leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and ramp up U.S. sanctions against Iran. Despite the U.S. decision, other parties have so far kept the deal intact. Deal supporters have expressed fears that Iran would walk away from the deal, but Iran has so far not done so and would suffer even worse economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation if it were to leave the deal.

Notwithstanding good intentions, rejoining the deal without the necessary fixes to it would in essence bless Iran to enlarge its conventional, missile, and nuclear programs without receiving any commensurate concessions from Iran. All these increases will occur during the next administration, whoever wins the presidential election. Whatever one’s views of the Trump administration’s decision to no longer participate in the nuclear agreement, this approach will not address its flaws and the threat of Iran being able to build nuclear weapons. Rather than making this a partisan issue, a better option is to use the new leverage created by the reimposition of sanctions to build domestic and international consensus to fix the flaws in the deal during the next few years.

Read the full op-ed at The National Interest here.

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