America and the JCPOA

The U.S. rightfully and reasonably withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump ends the JCPOA.  (photo credit: REUTERS)
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump ends the JCPOA.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The disastrous Iran nuclear agreement hung in uncertainty days before the May 12th deadline. The decision to continue with the terms of this deal would have had large implications and evermore worsen the situation in this region.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Biological Weapons Convention, and Chemical Weapons Convention, has waived their right to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. In recent decades, intelligence communities have demonstrated the contrary to be true. That should have been considered when crafting and negotiating this deal with an untrustworthy regime. Iran’s past and ongoing nuclear activities, interference in foreign affairs, and continuous support for terrorist organizations, prove the urgency with which the United States had to withdraw all commitments from this deeply flawed deal.
During a televised conference in April, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provided credible incriminating evidence to unmask clandestine nuclear activities on behalf of Iran. Project Amad, as emphasized by the prime minister, was a deliberate effort to design, build and test nuclear weapons on a ballistic missile. Although written in Farsi, one can decode the obvious intentions and objectives provided by such blueprints, pictures and presentations.
These files were hidden from the international community for many years in order not to cause any suspicion. Iran’s government consistently provided erroneous information and contradicting statements. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani have stated in the past, even in front of the United Nations General Assembly, that acquiring nuclear weapons was immoral and did not fit their political agenda. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, a key negotiator of this deal, has admitted that the files made public by Netanyahu contained issues already dealt with in the deal itself. In fact, undeclared nuclear arms in the possession of a dangerous regime should be means to end once and for all this agreement.
Furthermore, as Netanyahu demonstrated, Iran’s clandestine activities enabled it to develop the five essential components to manufacture a nuclear arsenal. The terms of the agreement offered Iran the opportunity to come clean. However, this was not to be. Iran has claimed that the goal of their nuclear program is peaceful. Iran, in the past or present, has been threatened either by military force or coercive activities on behalf of other nations. In fact, the situation is quite the opposite, as Iran has been confronting many countries militarily.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has called Khamenei the new Hitler of the Middle East. Iran’s expansionist and aggressive behaviors have prompted much of the conflict in the Middle East.
IRAN’S FIVE vital components to properly develop a nuclear weapon should have raised an alarm and been taken more seriously. A country that calls for annihilation should not be able to develop nuclear know-how, as stated under Iran’s commitments under existing treaties.
The intentions of existing treaties – in particular the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons – are to instruct and demand that nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear states do not transfer or otherwise acquire such knowledge. Iran is in direct violation of these agreements. Therefore, it should have been immediately punished, not rewarded.
The intention behind a formal agreement is that certain unwanted behaviors may change on behalf of one of the parties. In this case, the JCPOA and its objectives were to alter those behaviors and mitigate any existential threat pertaining to missiles. Iran received economic relief in return for disassembling much of their nuclear arsenal. However, the implementation has fueled Iran’s aggression and can be seen throughout much of the war-torn region.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the minister of foreign affairs for the United Arab Emirates, spoke to the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly about Iran’s constant intervention in the affairs of the Persian Gulf. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, is still leading a tragic war in the Yemen to defeat the Iran-backed Houthis. The government supported by the Saudi and Emirati government is being confronted by Iran through proxy wars. This is just one example of the aggressive behavior shown by Iran, which has used economic sanctions relief to arm terrorist groups. Conflicts in Gaza, headed by Hamas and Hezbollah (Iranian-backed), have worsened as a result of the billions of dollars retrieved by Iran in order to execute their aggressive and misguided foreign policy.
As if threats to Israel and the United States were not enough, there are those who argue that the world is better with the deal. Critics of the US decision to withdraw insist that if it were not for this deal, Iran would be a nuclear state, posing an existential threat to its neighbors and foes. But these flawed statements are narrow in scope and naive.
First, Iran’s compliance with this deal, something the P5+1 countries believe to be true, does not make the deal better or safer. Iran is able to retain some of it nuclear components and enrich further in the near future. The JCPOA does not strictly contain Iran’s aggression, and disregards much of its political and military weaponry. A country that calls for the annihilation of Israel and the United States should be completely deprived of a nuclear arsenal and any other means to achieve its dangerous objectives.
The writer is an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley.