US wrong to step out of Iran deal

PAX condemns the US decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran as announced earlier today by US President Donald Trump.

The deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Programme of Action (JCPOA), was working. PAX General Director Jan Gruiters says, “It was a triumph of diplomacy, the real art of the deal.The American rejection is a wrong signal to North Korea and may fuel nuclear proliferation and armed violence in an already volatile Middle East.”

US undermines legitimacy
The rejection of the agreement is a rejection of diplomacy and undermines US legitimacy, for friends and foes alike. It is also a rejection of US-European cooperation, and puts pressure on the other parties to the deal — Germany, France, UK, China and Russia – to reassure Iran that they will still uphold the agreement as negotiated. Otherwise, the rejection could put Iran on the path towards becoming a nuclear armed country.

It is unclear whether the US Congress will now decide to impose new sanctions on Iran. Such a decision set the clock back to how it was before the deal when European countries were unable to do business in Iran. In addition, it would further jeopardize relationship between Europe and the US at a time when it is already fragile.

Increasing tension
US withdrawal from the JCPOA increases the likelihood of war between the US and Iran. Fifteen years ago the international community was split due to Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction programme. It has still not fully recovered from that split. It is up to the other parties in the JCPOA to keep the deal.

After all, diplomacy is the way forward in stemming the threat of nuclear weapons. Diplomacy brought about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted in July 2017 at the United Nations and now in the ratification process around the globe. To truly put an end to all nuclear threats, there is a path forward, and that path goes through making strong treaties.