by The Iran Project
A decision by President Trump not to certify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA in the absence of persuasive evidence of Iran’s violations would have grave long-term political and security consequences for the U.S.—including another regional war. No American national security objective would be served by scuttling the nuclear agreement as long as Iran remains in compliance and without a nuclear weapon.
Failure to certify would:
• Fortify Iran’s current allegations that the U.S. is in violation of the JCPOA. If they determine there is no proven Iranian violation, the majority of the members of the JCPOA Joint Commission could well agree that the U.S., and not Iran, is non-compliant.
• Return Iran to becoming an imminent nuclear threat should it decide to resume its production of fissile material under greatly reduced or no international oversight which measures the full range of Iran’s nuclear program.
• Embolden Iran’s security forces and other hardline elements thereby increasing the likelihood of the escalation of military conflicts between Iran and the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East. It would also weaken Iranians who support reforms and a weakening of Iran’s domestic forces who oppose opening to the West.
• Alternatively, isolate the U.S. by providing Europe, China and Russia the opportunity to continue observing the JCPOA with Iran. All nations could continue to pursue trade and investment opportunities with Iran.
• Undermine U.S. world leadership and challenge the power of the U.S. Treasury in the international financial system and the U.S. dollar as a global reserve currency should Congress unilaterally impose extra-territorial sanctions resulting in legal disputes and political strains with European and other nations no longer sanctioning Iran under the JCPOA.
• Divide the U.S. and Europe, allowing Russia and China to move closer to their longstanding goal of splitting the West and destroying the international unity required to respond forcefully to any future Iranian violation.
• Destroy U.S. credibility as a reliable negotiating partner on issues involving nuclear weapons, particularly with Russia and North Korea and be a significant setback for America’s long term commitment to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
• Reduce prospects for a political resolution of the conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, none of which can be resolved by military action alone or without Iran’s participation.
• Create international political disarray, since other world powers that support the JCPOA would be confused about U.S. intentions regarding plans to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon and Congress would be unclear about next steps on sanctions against Iran.
• Make war with Iran and its over 80 million people more likely as a result of mounting U.S.-Iranian hostility emerging from any increased U.S. use of kinetic force and covert action and an expansion of Iranian actions against U.S. interests worldwide.
Republished, with permission, from The Iran Project.