Starting January 11, 2017, Trump will again have to make key decisions about the future of the Iran nuclear deal. He is supposed to certify every 90 days that Iran is complying with the deal, and he also has to decide whether to continue waiving economic sanctions that the United States agreed to waive under the deal.
Even though international inspectors and his own national security officials say that Iran is complying with the deal, Trump decertified it the last time he had the chance. It is highly possible that he will do the same this time - and he could also take an extra step by unilaterally re-imposing sanctions, causing the United States to violate the deal.
This would be a disaster, and it could put us at higher risk of military conflict with Iran.
The Iran deal was a massive foreign policy achievement during the Obama administration, and that’s why Trump wants to tear it up. Under this deal, Iran is blocked from building a nuclear weapon in exchange for relief from some sanctions. This means that, with no bullets fired and not a single American troop deployed, the United States found a diplomatic solution to keep Iran away from a nuclear bomb.
Now that Trump is in the White House this is more important than ever. We’ve seen how he recklessly deals with North Korea, provoking conflict that could escalate to dangerous levels. We can’t afford another North Korea, especially with Trump in charge.
Sanctions relief is what the United States brings to the table in this deal. If we re-impose sanctions, we violate the deal, and it all falls apart. If this deal falls apart, Iran can again start pursuing nuclear weapons, which could lead the U.S. to take military action. We are more likely to go to war with Iran if we don’t save this deal.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- The Iran deal (formally the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) was struck in 2015 between the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Russia, China, the European Union and Iran. It forces Iran to give up its materials to build a nuclear weapon in exchange for some sanctions relief.
- The deal also imposes the most rigorous, invasive inspections on Iran in history. International inspectors have 24/7 access to Iran’s nuclear sites and would catch any attempts by Iran to violate the deal.
- Those inspectors have confirmed over and over that the deal is working and that Iran is complying with the deal. Trump’s own national security officials, including Secretary of Defense Mattis and General Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have also said the deal is working and the U.S. should stay in it.
- If the U.S. pulls out of the deal, it will all fall apart. Iran will probably pull out too, and resume its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Other partner nations will have to choose between doing business with the U.S. or with Iran, and the whole thing will unravel. Our international partners have time and again urged Trump to stay in the deal.
- The deal is the deal and there’s no renegotiating it. Trump likes to talk about renegotiating, or changing certain aspects of the Iran deal. While the U.S. is always welcome to engage in more diplomacy and build more deals, this deal is final and either we are in or out.
- We’re likely to see Trump take us to war with Iran if we don’t save this deal. That would be foolish, costly, and incredibly risky. There is no reason to take this path.
WHAT CONGRESS CAN DO
Each Member of Congress must speak up now. The voices who want a new war with Iran and who despise the deal simply because it was President Obama’s achievement are speaking very loudly. Congress must use their platform and issue statements immediately, calling on Trump to stay in the deal and to choose diplomacy over war. They must also state clear that Trump has no congressional authority to take military action in Iran.
Congress needs to hear from you today. Call them immediately and ask all your MoCs to issue a public statement committing to protecting the deal and blocking new war with Iran.
Caller: Hello, I’m a constituent from [part of state] and I’m very concerned about the Iran deal. Trump foolishly decertified it in October even though Iran is complying and it’s keeping us all safe. If he does that again, or worse, unilaterally re-imposes sanctions and violates the deal, will [MoC] issue a public statement denouncing his actions and urging diplomacy, not war with Iran?
Staffer: Thank you for sharing those concerns. [MoC] is considering [his/her] options right now. [He/she] thinks the deal could be changed slightly and is open to that.
Caller: That’s not acceptable. Our international partners tell us the deal is the deal and there will be no renegotiations. Either we are in or we are out, and if we’re out, we could go to war with Iran. Will [MoC] make sure this doesn’t happen?
Staffer: I hear your concern. [MoC] is also concerned because Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and commits a lot of human rights abuses. Plus they are hostile to us, our ally Israel, and others.
Caller: This is exactly why we can’t let them have a nuclear weapon - which they will, if this deal falls apart. It is crucial for [MoC] to stand up to Trump on this and keep us safe. We can’t have another North Korea.
Staffer: I’ll certainly relay your concerns to [MoC].
Caller: Yes, please do. I will be watching for [MoC]’s statement urging protection of the deal and no new war with Iran.