Former secretary of state James Baker called on the Obama administration to hold firm on sanctions against Iran until verifiable mechanisms are in place to ensure the Islamic Republic’s compliance of any nuclear deal.
Writing an opinion piece for the Friday edition of The Wall Street Journal, the former top diplomat in the George H.W. Bush administration said that while he commended the current president’s efforts to solve a thorny issue without resorting to military force, he cautioned that Washington must rally its P5+1 allies to demonstrate steadfastness, particularly in light of Iran’s poor track record in adhering to international commitments.
“Iranian leaders quickly disputed key points about the White House’s description of the terms of the [framework] agreement,” Baker wrote. “Among them was Iran’s demand that all sanctions be removed once a final deal is signed.”
“That is a far cry from the US understanding that sanctions will only be removed over time, as Iran meets its obligations. This different Iranian position may have been aimed at Iran’s domestic audience. But if Iran holds to it, there should be no final agreement.”