President Trump Withdraws From Iran Deal
By Jishnu Nair – Syracuse, N.Y. (CitrusTV) – On Wednesday, President Trump officially withdrew the United States from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran Deal. The president also announced new economic sanctions on Iran. He went on to warn nations seeking to aid Iran that they could also face similar sanctions.
The Iran Deal was signed to ensure that Iran gave up its capability to create nuclear weapons in exchange for an escape from economic sanctions. Under the terms of the deal, Iran shipped out 98 percent of enriched uranium and shut down its plutonium production reactor.
The country also went under scrutiny from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The major powers in the deal’s creation were the five permanent U.N. Security Council members—the U.S., Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France—as well as Germany. These nations were involved in lifting sanctions on Iran as they continued to comply with the deal.
During his campaign, Trump repeatedly stated that he would “dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.” In January 2018, against his own reservations, the president complied with the deal and waived some of the sanctions as required, but promised that it would be the last time such a waiver would come from the United States.
The president is supported by hawkish members of his cabinet, including National Security Adviser John Bolton and new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, all of whom believe the current deal does not address Iran’s missile program or its behavior within the region. Iranian forces have escalated activities in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, according to a memorandum on the White House’s website. The same memorandum says that Iran denied the IAEA access to military sites as part of their investigations
The IAEA has certified that Iran has complied with the deal at least ten times since 2015. On the day that Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal from the deal, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano confirmed that Iranian nuclear protocols as defined in the deal were still being implemented.
Trump, however, considers Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles to be a violation of the agreement, and asked European powers such as the U.K., France, and Germany to help rewrite some of the perceived flaws in the document.
President Trump signed an executive order imposing sanctions on foreign companies that do business with Iran, with 90-to-180 day grace periods given for those companies to extract themselves from Iranian contracts before facing the sanctions.
Reactions to the sanction worldwide have generally been negative. Leaders in the U.K, France, and Germany have all publicly stated their continued committal to the deal and expressed regret on the United States’ withdrawal.
“The non-nuclear proliferation agreement is at stake,” wrote French President Emmanuel Macron in a tweet on Tuesday.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says that the deal could remain if the other signing parties remain a part. However, Rouhani maintained that Iran will restart enriched uranium production should the deal fall through entirely.
“This is a psychological war, we won’t allow Trump to win,” Rouhani said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump for his decision. In late April, Netanyahu presented documents and slides that the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad obtained, citing them as proof that Iran had violated the terms of the agreement.
“Israel fully supports President Trump’s bold decision today to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran,” Netanyahu said.
Barack Obama, who was instrumental to the deal’s creation when he was President, called the withdrawal a “serious mistake.”
“Indeed, at a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes — with Iran — the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans,” Obama said in a statement.
The U.S. Treasury Department issued a timetable for when sanctions will return in force on Iran. On August 6, 2018, sanctions on Iranian purchases of U.S. currency, the Iranian gold trade, and the Iranian automotive sector go into effect. On November 5, 2018, more sanctions will return, including restrictions on Iran’s ports and its oil trade. Following November 5th, the Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List will also return in effect.