Current and former diplomats, the U.S. intelligence community, our allies abroad, and Trump’s own top military officials — including Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford — have all verified these achievements and advised the president to certify the deal, yet he refuses to do so.
Two outcomes from this reckless decision are possible as Congress begins a 60-day review period to consider action.
First, they can choose to reinstate sanctions that were lifted per the agreement or implement new sanctions. Reinstating old nuclear sanctions on Iran for non-nuclear reasons, however, is a violation of the agreement.
Second, new legislation sponsored by senators Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., proposes to amend the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act — a 2016 law designed to give Congress oversight over the deal. Unfortunately, the terms the senators are proposing effectively modify the deal’s terms, demanding further concessions from the Iranians and threatening U.S. sanctions if they don’t abide.
Either course results in the United States breaking the deal — with serious consequences.
Our diplomatic credibility on the world stage would be destroyed by a clear failure to keep our promises. This means that negotiating any future agreements — say with North Korea — will become all the more difficult. Moreover, in the absence of the deal, the limits and inspections on Iran’s nuclear program will vanish, heightening the risk of a deadly conflict in the Middle East.
Despite its imperfections, the Iran Deal is a demonstrably successful way to combat an aspect of Iran’s destructive behavior in the Middle East. Tough, principled and American-led diplomacy has successfully prevented an Iranian nuclear weapon — and as a veteran, I value keeping our men and women in uniform out of an unnecessary war.
Therefore, rather than risking a violation of the agreement, Congress should enforce the robust, bipartisan sanctions package it already passed and work to address the other aspects of Iranian behavior. Clearly, it is time for Congress to step up and preserve American leadership and national security by charting a responsible course forward.
Jon Gensler is an Army veteran and security fellow with Truman National Security Project. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.
The Iran Deal engineered by former President Barack Obama is back in the headlines after President Donald Trump’s recent announcement that he will not certify it, moving forward. What’s next? We take a look at three takes on the issue this week, including an interesting turn-abouut on the matter from the usually very conservative columnist Rachel Marsden. Your thoughts? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. — Ron Rollins