Pulling Out of the Iran Deal
After withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris Agreement, President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly referred to as the “Iran Deal”, appears to be yet another attempt to reverse the course of President Obama’s previous policies. However, unlike the other agreements, the Deal was a divergence from usual foreign policy approaches towards Iran, with which the U.S. maintained 30 years of severed diplomatic relations, nuclear threats, and economic sanctions. This agreement showcased the potential power of diplomacy and peaceful negotiation in accomplishing mutually beneficial political goals. Pulling out of the agreement could potentially result in several adverse implications for the United States and could result in a setback to reconciling U.S. diplomatic relations with the greater Middle East.
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has stated that he will stay in the deal as long as the other signatories — China, Russia, France, United Kingdom, Germany, and the EU — remain committed and do not exclude Iran from the global economy. While it is unlikely that the threat Iran’s nuclear capacity poses will intensify due to the U.S.’s withdrawal, the prospects of another deal like this one are blurry. Addressing Iranians on state tv, Rouhani stated that “Getting rid of America’s mischievous presence will be fine for Iran,” signaling renewed animosity and tension. By maintaining dialogue between the two countries, the deal offered a path for future negotiations regarding other issues in the region. Iran has long been involved in the affairs of its Arab neighbors, raising issues that often oppose the U.S.’s interests. Iran is a strong ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has been backing his regime’s attacks on U.S. supported opposition forces. Iran is also a supporter of Lebanese Hezbollah, a prominent enemy of the U.S. President Trump’s decision puts into question the U.S.’s ability to remain committed to agreements and could contribute to the volatility in the Middle East’s increasingly complex political climate.
By Yakin Ouederni