Jun. 23, 2016
- The Iran Nuclear Deal: One Year On – Emily B. Landau
When assessing the Iran nuclear deal that was signed almost a year ago, especially against the backdrop of Iran’s defiant behavior and aggressive conduct in the Middle East since then, one can hardly be complacent about what was achieved. The partial constraints imposed on Iran’s nuclear program do not reflect what the world powers set out to do; nor do they warrant surrendering the leverage over Iran afforded by the sanctions regime.
Iran’s behavior over the past year makes it clear that rather than embracing a more cooperative approach toward the international community, Iran is persisting with its abusive rhetoric and aggressive policies, including stepping up its presence in Syria and intensifying its ballistic missile activities. Indeed, Iran has been testing the resolve of the U.S. to confront it, equipped with a new and quite effective deterrent to any determined Western response: its threat to walk away from the nuclear deal.
According to President Obama, the deal succeeded in completely cutting off all four pathways to producing a bomb, ensuring that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon. Such sweeping statements simply cannot be guaranteed by the deal as concluded and are dangerously misleading. It is no cause for celebration to temporarily keep Iran “half nuclear.” The immediacy of the Iranian nuclear threat has receded, but the threat of a nuclear Iran has not been eliminated. The writer is director of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. (Jerusalem Report)