Donald Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran nuclear agreement — also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — is another in a long series of reckless actions that move our country closer to more war and chaos.
Let us be clear: Trump’s decertification decision has no basis in reality, is without justification, and flies in the face of eight International Atomic Energy Agency compliance reports and expert opinion, including that of Trump’s own national security team. The truth is that Trump’s decertification decision, like those on climate, health care, trade, immigration, and much else, is about seeking to undo President Obama’s legacy — and nothing else.
It is possible that Trump’s dangerous decision, coupled with other ill-conceived policies toward Iran, will lead to the eventual collapse of the nuclear agreement. In so doing, Trump’s move will not only grievously undermine America’s role in the world and its ability to conduct diplomacy writ large — and particularly with North Korea — but it could also leave Iran’s nuclear program unconstrained, thereby setting the stage for further military conflict.
Congress will now decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the nuclear agreement. Make no mistake: a vote to reimpose these sanctions is a vote to kill the JCPOA, and ultimately, a vote for war. Congress undoubtedly has an important oversight function on all foreign policy matters. However, we must also be clear that the JCPOA’s terms cannot be unilaterally changed by Congress. Any legislation that seeks to do so or that otherwise undermines the agreement should be seen for what it is: a backdoor way of killing the JCPOA, undermining our allies in the agreement, and bringing us closer to war with Iran.
Our organizations represent tens of millions of Americans across the country who fought hard to defend diplomacy and help secure the Iran nuclear deal in 2015. Collectively, we cannot, and we will not, let this Congress and this reckless occupant of the White House destroy one of the greatest diplomatic achievements in U.S. history.