Updated: Jun 14, 2021
The US and Iran Nuclear Deal was originally signed in 2015 by Iran and many world powers, including the United States. Commonly known as the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), the deal placed significant restraints on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for looser sanctions from the US. In 2018, former President Donald Trump withdrew from this agreement, claiming that it was not working in favor of the United States. He insisted that the agreement failed to control Iranian missile production. Recently, Iran has disobeyed this deal, and the Biden administration has said that once Iran starts to show compliance, it will work to rejoin the deal.
On May 8, 2018, Donald Trump and his administration withdrew from the Iran Nuclear Deal. This move was definitely controversial, but it was highly warranted. Although the deal had great intentions from the Obama administration, President Trump simply did not believe that it was supporting the United States anymore. One reason why President Trump didn’t feel comfortable with this agreement was that it was very temporary. Instead of agreeing to stop its nuclear production forever, Iran put a clock on the US and said it would only stop production until the deal expired. Although this was not the deal-breaker for the President, he would have liked to see Iran agree to limit its nuclear production permanently.
While many wanted members of the deal to address Iran’s ballistic missiles, the JCPOA did not do so. This is yet another flaw of the JCPOA because firing ballistic missiles is one of the most common methods of mass-destruction. Because Iran has no uniform army, navy, or air force, the use of ballistic missiles would be its only way to stop a strong country like the United States from attacking. Trump knew this, and it contributed greatly to his final decision. Prior to the Iran Deal, Tehran had been a part of two separate UN treaties that it failed to uphold. Both of these treaties were based on UN resolutions aimed at limiting Iran's ballistic missile use. If any new agreement is in the works, limiting Iran’s ballistic missile use is a must.
Something else that alarmed President Trump was that the inspectors for the JCPOA were not permitted to visit the Iranian military sites to examine them. Trump was right to believe that this was a necessity, considering that if a country were to have a nuclear weapon program, it would involve a military base. Even if Iran were not performing such acts at the military bases, we should not complete a deal with a country that refuses to allow neutral inspectors into its bases. Israeli intelligence operations recently uncovered that Iran was not abiding by the nuclear deal, and that its leaders have been trying to create a nuclear weapon. The first step in negotiating a new deal is integrity -- Iran lacks that.
Even putting the flaws of the deal aside, Iran is not a country we can trust. In the past and present, Iran has been presented as a threat to international security. Iran is dangerous. It supports the dreadful civil war in Syria, and sponsors terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. Iran is also assisting some branches of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
President Trump made the right decision. For the sake of stopping Iran’s nuclear program and protecting U.S. national security and its citizens, we must introduce a nuclear deal, but one that addresses all the flaws in the current one. The first step to a new agreement is staying out of one that has not worked. The final step is to wait for Iran to become a trustworthy participant.