There’s a saying that if something isn’t broken, you shouldn’t try to fix it. Iran deal wasn’t perfect, but it was working. Now, Donald Trump has destroyed it, and it’s on him to try to fix it if that’s something he wants to do.
Donald Trump inherited this agreement from the previous administration, and through his campaign he often trash talked it. It was evident from the start that Trump will try to put an end to this deal that he believed is not preventing Iranians from building nuclear weapons. He also was adamant that the US should not help Iran economically at all. Despite not being perfect, agreement prevented this Middle East country from developing an atomic bomb, and inspectors believe that they can’t achieve that goal before 2030.
The agreement was signed between Iran President Hassan Rouhani and at the time the US President Barack Obama. Both Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry knew at the time that the deal is not to be permanent and that it will be revisited in the feature. But, at that moment it was better than no deal or possible military intervention.
Even with this agreement Iran’s path to nuclear arsenal wasn’t permanently closed. They were allowed to build nuclear industrial bases, and it was no secret that they kept all of the information on their bomb-making work. Israeli intelligence believes that they continued their work only behind the curtains and with reduced resources. They did this even after the signing the deal that should guarantee that they won’t be pursuing nuclear weapons.
It was evident that Iran as a country, after the agreement, won’t be entirely focused on developing an atomic bomb, but part of the focus will remain on that field. Because of this, some of Trump’s critics are on the spot. Before leaving the agreement, Trump administration tried to convince European countries to try and fix its flaws. Also, they wanted to have British, German, and French authorities on their side in order to prevent Iran activities in the region and to put sanctions on their ballistic missiles program.
But, Europeans believed that Iran respected the deal and that the sign that they did this is the fact that they can’t develop any nuclear warhead equipped missiles until 2030 according to nuclear inspectors. With the contract expiring in 2025 Europe believed that the deal could be renegotiated closer to that date rather than brake it now.
Another agenda that Trump is trying to push here is the regime change in Iran. The current president doesn’t have complete support and America believes that economic sanctions could turn the people away from the current regime. But, even if this doesn’t happen, Trump thinks that this way Iran could be ready to sign a new US-dictated deal. When he announced, America’s stepping out of the deal on May 8th Trump said: “Iran’s leaders will naturally say that they refuse to negotiate a new deal … and that’s fine. I’d probably say the same thing if I was in their position. But the fact is, they are going to want to make a new and lasting deal, one that benefits all of Iran and the Iranian people. When they do, I am ready, willing, and able.”
With this statement, Trump looks like someone who doesn’t want a regime change but wants a new agreement with the current one. Instead of focusing only on nuclear-related issues, he addressed some of the economic ones and turned away from its allies in Europe. EU countries that signed the deal made a joint statement saying: “We will continue to show our commitment to the JCPOA, while also urging the US to ensure that the structures of the JCPOA can remain intact, and to avoid taking action which obstructs its full implementation by all other parties to the deal.”
When the deal was signed, many believed that ti would fall apart eventually as they thought that Iran is going to be the one that walks out first. Now that the US has left without the support of their allies it’s hard to guess what lies ahead.
One thing is sure, America won’t have the help in pressuring Iran into signing a revised deal. There won’t be a need for a reworked deal if Iran and European countries stay accord on the old one. And it’s not only the EU. Japan and South Korea might follow the US out of the pact but Chinese, Indians, and Russians won’t.
Only days after the US left the deal the conflict between Iran and Israel escalated, with both countries launching missiles at military targets. The problems will only become graver in the future if Trump doesn’t change anything. He went away from the approach that Barack Obama had, and now it’s up to him to handle the Iran issues.