AfP CEO Statement on Iranian Nuclear Agreement

WASHINGTON — Alliance for Peacebuilding President and CEO, Melanie Greenberg, issued the following statement on the Iranian nuclear agreement:

AfP urges the Trump Administration not to declare Iran in violation of the Iran nuclear agreement and reimpose related sanctions.[1] International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors have certified that Iran is in compliance.[2] The deal has put the Iranian nuclear program on hold for 10 years and delayed a possible Iranian nuclear “breakout” (production of a nuclear weapon) from an estimated 2–3 months to 12 months. Rather than criticizing this agreement for what it leaves out, we should use the time it affords to engage in negotiations on other disputed issues, such as the Iranian missile program and destabilizing regional activities. A US declaration of non-compliance would end any Iranian interest in such talks and could lead to Iran’s resumption of its nuclear program.

Moreover, a decision to walk away from the JCPOA would have broader consequences. Coming after President Trump’s decisions to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement and renegotiate NAFTA, disavowing the JCPOA would reinforce international concerns about US willingness to abide by other agreements. As with the Paris agreement, US withdrawal may not completely scuttle the JCPOA. Great Britain, France and Germany have certified Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal and hailed the agreement as having made the world safer.[3] For the future, adversaries, such as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea/North Korea, may be reluctant to conclude new deals that could easily be broken, or they may conclude that they too can walk away from agreements they have signed. Rejecting existing agreements also undercuts US allies who may now give less weight to US preferences when dealing with common adversaries. The Republic of Korea/South Korea, for example, must weigh the likelihood that either the US or North Korea would walk away from any agreement on the future of the Korean peninsula. Given all these far-ranging negative potential consequences, the US should not declare Iran in violation of the Iran nuclear agreement.

[1] The agreement, which is formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA was signed by Iran, the US, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China in July 2015.

[2] Statement by IAEA Director General Yukija Amano, Oct 13 2017, iaea.org, accessed Mar 20, 2018.

[3] Patrick Wintour, “Great Britain, France and Germany urge the US not to tear up Iran nuclear deal, Guardian, Jan 11, 2018; Peter Westmacott, “Want to Support the Iranian People? Keep the Nuclear Deal,” Politico, Jan 11, 2018.

Alliance for Peacebuilding is the leading global network working to end conflict and build sustainable peace worldwide. Our 145+ members work in 181 countries.

Alliance for Peacebuilding is the leading global network working to end conflict and build sustainable peace worldwide. Our 145+ members work in 181 countries.