Can the Iran Deal Be Fixed? And Should It Be?

(Commentary) Omri Ceren - If the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, is a coherent cluster of policies in the service of a modest arms-control strategy, there might be a basis for building on it as policy. But if it is a mess of contradictions that can't be integrated into any coherent policy advancing American interests, then there are a dozen different scenarios in which the deal's collapse becomes inevitable long before it begins sunsetting in the mid-2020s. In October 2017, President Trump declared that the JCPOA had been giving Iran too much in exchange for too little. Iran had been granted legalized nuclear and ballistic-missile programs, hundreds of billions of dollars, and the diplomatic and military space to expand across the Middle East right up to Israel and Saudi Arabia's borders. The administration made clear that it considered the JCPOA fatally flawed due to a weak inspections regime in which the UN's nuclear watchdog can't access Iranian military facilities, an arrangement where Iran was allowed to develop ballistic missiles, and the fact that the deal's expiration dates mean Iran will legally be allowed to get within a hair's breadth of a nuclear weapon. U.S. officials have emphasized that America will increase its pressure on Iran in response to the Iranians' continuing their ballistic-missile development, regional expansionism, human-rights atrocities, terror sponsorship, cyberattacks, and other malign behaviors. The writer is a managing director at The Israel Project.

2018-03-22 00:00:00

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