Donald Trump set the date – May 12 – for his decision whether to pull out of the nuclear deal with Iran. In October last year, Trump decided that Iran wasn’t complying with the agreement and that was why he wanted to re-impose the sanctions which had been waived as a part of the deal. Now, POTUS wants to rework the agreement because, according to him, it is a terrible deal for America. If this doesn’t happen by May 12, “American nuclear sanctions would automatically resume.”
However, Trump should not be trusted. Iran is the country which is abiding by the rules of the agreement, and this has been confirmed by The International Atomic Energy Agency for nine times. Furthermore, all of the American allies have said the same thing. Even US Defense Secretary James Mattis confirmed it with the State Department issuing a report which stated that “Iran continued to fulfill its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”
So far, Iran has been complying with the agreement, but what about the other major signatory state? According to most of the journalists, this deal sounds a lot like a trade deal, and one CNN reporter put it like this: “[The deal] obliges Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the suspension of economic sanctions.” But it is far more complicated than this. Waiving nuclear sanctions is not the only responsibility of the United States. America should not prevent Iran as it attempts to reintegrate into the global economy and according to Section 26, the US and its allies are committed “to prevent interference with the realization of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting specified” in the deal. Meanwhile, Section 29 and Section 33 commit the signatories which are not Iran to “refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran,” and “to agree on steps to ensure Iran’s access in areas of trade, technology, finance and energy,” respectively.
And these are the clauses which have been violated by the United States of America. The Washington Post noted Trump’s efforts to persuade the European allies to stop making trade and business deals with Iran during a NATO summit last year in May. Furthermore, at a G20 summit in Germany, Trump’s director of legislative affairs acknowledged that POTUS had “underscored the need for nations … to stop doing business with nations that sponsor terrorism, especially Iran.” The US pledged to “refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran,” but they are not honoring that pledge.
To make matters worse, there are other violations as well. According to Section 22, which refers to America only, the US is obliged to “allow for the sale of commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services to Iran.” Any company from the United States, or from the other parts of the world which receives more than 10% of the parts from the US-based companies must ask for a permit from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) if they want to do business with Iran. OFAC started issuing permits, and in November 2016 they allowed the sale of 106 airplanes to Iran Air. However when Trump became the president “requests concerning permits to export planes to Iran have been piling up … OFAC has not responded to aircraft sales licensing requests since the first of such licenses were issued during the Barack Obama administration.”
While the licenses for routine personal divestment transactions are still being issued, those for commercial transactions are now denied. In other words, you can sell your property or close your bank account in Iran, but when it comes selling airplanes, for instance, that is put to a halt. National Iranian American Council’s Reza Marashi reported earlier in the year: “To hear senior Western diplomats tell it, the Trump administration has not approved a single Iran-related OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) license since taking office.” This indicates that, once again, America is the one not complying with the agreement.
We are patiently waiting for May 12th and Trump’s decision on Iran Deal. Even if the sanctions are not reimposed, America is still not playing by the rules. One thing is for certain. Things are going to change some way or another.