The Iran Nuclear Treaty commonly referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a set of agreements between Iran and the six superpower countries of the world to mitigate and control the production of nuclear weapons by Iran. Iran in a step to stabilize its economy agreed to a set of reasonable nuclear related commitments that provide a threshold of its nuclear activities to reduce suspicion and tension from the U.S., UN, and the EU. In return the superpower countries would comply to another set of commitments that would provide Iran with an economic relief.
The key elements of the treaty were adopted in 18th October 2015 to facilitate the implementation of a peaceful Iran nuclear program over the foreseeable future of the world. The first key element contained in the JCPOA agreement was that the EU and the UN would allow Iran to continue with their indigenous nuclear program. The program would have to comply with international non-proliferation rules and standards set to govern every country in the world. Upon this allowance provided by the EU+3 (Germany, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and China) Iran has to reaffirm that under no circumstance will they use their nuclear program to produce or acquire nuclear weapons.
The EU+3 would have to regularly examine the compliance of Iran to the JCPOA treaty through the UN Security Council that reviews and approves the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) in the entire world. After the UN Security Council endorses the implementation of the JCPOA treaty in Iran, the EU+3 have to terminate multilateral and international trade and security sanctions imposed on Iran (Tharoor). The termination of the sanctions is a key element of the NPT since it is a symbol of good faith that Iran will comply with the set agreements.
Additionally, the EU+3 would refrain from setting discriminatory policies and regulations against Iran in order to improve their economic status. Restrictive measures had been set against Iran before the implementation of the JCPOA agreements limiting its economic participation in the international community. The UN and the EU are committed to the successful implementation of the agreements due to the benefits and positive results the program has on the trade relations between Iran and the entire world. The Iranian people also benefit economically as the international relations are also improved.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has inspected the compliance of the Iranian nuclear program to the NPT eight times since its adoption. The European Union recently expressed their commitment to the JCPOA with willingness to adopt any additional reforms that would strengthen the confidence in the agreements to ensure peace in their region at a time where security tensions are high (Tharoor). The failure of the Trump administration to certify the United States compliance with the JCPOA is viewed as an internal security concern with dire implications to the U.S.
The U.S. Congress and the Trump administration are not content with the terms of the Iran Nuclear Treaty and they are pushing for a renegotiation of the agreements that will see it comply with the requests of Iran. The JCPOA is a ten year program that has steps to be followed along the removal or modification of trade sanctions set on Iran. The timeline of implementing the agreements has four stages outlined under the key elements of the JCPOA namely; finalization, adoption, implementation and enrichment in the long-term plan. These stages raise immediate problems to Trumps administration as a result of his “America First” slogan that articulates no foreign policy for the Iran Nuclear Treaty or any international affair whatsoever.
Donald Trump has already openly criticized the JCPOA deal and America’s participation in the deal that would after fifteen years enable Iran to produce nuclear materials without the limitation of sanctions from the international community (Sanger). The deal that was for once close to resolving the tension between Iran and the U.S. is again under risk of being terminated. The Iran government has threatened to go ahead with reconstruction of its nuclear energy infrastructure that they had thrown out due to agreements with the Obama administration if Trump goes ahead with his plans of pulling an American withdrawal from the JCPOA.
The JCPOA is a conventional agreement and not a treaty allowing Trump to open up the renegotiation for a better deal for the United States instead of a onetime withdrawal. The withdrawal would mean a setback on the progress made in the Islamic State of controlling ISIS the major security threat to the U.S. at the time. Even though it would take Iran approximately a year to reconstruct its nuclear energy infrastructure, and probably another five years to create nuclear weapons, it is safer for America to respect the deal (Sanger). This is because it promises safer nuclear programs in Iran even after the fifteen years of implementation as long as the sanctions are withdrawn.
The JCPOA is a less confrontational approach to the threat of nuclear weapons in the region from Iran. Additionally, the deal holds trade benefits for the American citizens that desire to engage in business with Iran, which is rich in oil stockpile. The other five participants in the JCPOA are taking advantage of the agreements to build commercial activities with Iran and strengthen their economies. If the Trump administration were to withdraw from the agreements, it would certainly disadvantage the U.S. in matters economic and security related. If the deal were to be successfully implemented, the region will greatly benefit by 2030 with security no longer a threat and economic activities booming internationally.
Sanger, David. “From Iran To Syria, Trump’S ‘America First’ Approach Faces Its First Tests.” Nytimes.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 31 Oct. 2017.
Tharoor, Ishaan. “The Key Moments In The Long History Of U.S.-Iran Tensions.” Washington Post. N.p., 2015. Web. 31 Oct. 2017.