Q: Will the decertification of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Iran nuclear agreement by US President Donald Trump pave the way to fixing it?
Respondents: Michael Rubin, Emily B. Landau, Barbara Slavin, Behnam Ben Taleblu, Paulina Izewicz, Raphael Ofek
Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Washington DC
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was a flawed agreement. It shredded non-proliferation precedent: the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held South Africa to a far greater standard in 1991 when it came in from the cold and, in 2003, the international community required the physical dismantling of Libya’s covert program. In contrast, Iran maintains an industrial-scale enrichment infrastructure upon which controls will sunset.
Beyond the sunset clauses, limits on inspection, ambiguity with regard to nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, and a structure that rewarded Iran upfront instead of calibrating sanctions relief to compliance, the JCPOA ignores the possibility that Iranian engineers might work on military aspects of a nuclear program abroad in North Korea.