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BC: Trump’s Rejection of the JCPOA Poses a Major Threat

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BC stands for NEO’s Banned Classic. This article was originally published by our journal on 17.10.17 For some reason, this article is missing from Google search results. Since this article remains pretty relevant to those geopolitical events that are taking place on the geopolitical stage today, we deem it possible to present it to our readers once again. Should it go missing again, you may be confident that you will see it republished by NEO once more, should it still remain relevant by that time.

President Trump has announced that he is no longer willing to certify Iran’s compliance with the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed to by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus the European Union (EU), Germany and Iran in July 2015. That agreement was unanimously endorsed by the Security Council in Resolution 2231`on 20 July 2015.

Trump’s speech announcing the decision was notable for its mendacity and marked a new low in the standards of what passes for diplomacy in 21st Century America. The certification of Iran’s compliance was not part of the JCPOA but rather reflected separate legislation passed by the US Congress, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Act of 2015.

Under that legislation the President was required to certify to the Congress Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA every 90 days. If he fails to so certify, the Congress has 60 days to review the legislation and decide how to react. There are a number of options, including the re-imposition of sanctions (on top of those already in place). That would put the US in breach of the terms of the JCPOA, although that does not seem a matter of major concern to the Americans.

That Trump has failed to certify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA should have come as no surprise. Even before he was elected he was critical of the agreement, calling it “the worst deal ever” among other criticisms. After his election he gave no indication other than that he was likely to refuse certification at a time that suited his domestic or foreign agenda.

In the speech refusing certification Trump was unable to point to any specific breach of the JCPOA, instead making a series of allegations and accusing Iran of breaching “the spirit” of the agreement. The notion of “spirit” has no basis in international law and is clearly a made up justification.

Trump’s speech exemplifies the hubris that characterizes US foreign policy.........

© New Eastern Outlook