Oct. 10, 2017
Revisiting the Iran Deal – David Harris (Huffington Post)
- After the announcement of the Iran deal (JCPOA) on July 14, 2015, AJC dedicated 23 days to reviewing it thoroughly, meeting privately with world leaders including Secretary of State John Kerry. In the end, we opposed the deal, believing it fell short on several key fronts, among them:
- The shift in negotiating strategy from “dismantle (the nuclear program) for dismantle (the international sanctions)” to “delay (the nuclear program) for dismantle (the sanctions).”
- The provision of a sunset clause, paving the way for Iran to become a nuclear-threshold nation down the road;
- The failure to address Iran’s ballistic missile program;
- The omission of military sites from those facilities subject to inspection; and
- The absence of any reference to Iran’s support for terrorism and regional destabilization.
- At the same time, we said that we would be happy to be proved wrong. If the JCPOA fulfilled all the claims made about it by its supporters – including, centrally, cutting off Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon forever – then we would readily acknowledge our error in judgment.
- But in the past two years, despite the belief that the accord would strengthen the “moderates in the regime,” the inescapable reality is that the opposite has happened. Tehran has only become more emboldened and belligerent in the region, as well as more hostile towards the U.S. and Israel.
- Iran has materially strengthened its hegemonic ambitions and created a new balance of power in the Middle East. It also continues to maintain ties with North Korea, and there is a widespread presumption that Iran and North Korea are actively cooperating in nuclear research and ICBM development. Clearly, something more must be done to address the Iranian issue.
The writer is the CEO of the American Jewish Committee (AJC).