Scrapping Iran N-deal reckless

US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran is reckless, irresponsible and dangerous. Its fallout will be felt across the world. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was reached between Iran and the US, UK, China, Russia, France and Germany. It provided for a lifting of sanctions on Iran; Teheran was allowed to sell its oil and reintegrate into the global economy. In exchange, it was required to limit its nuclear activities and allow UN weapons inspectors to return. The JCPOA eased tension between the US and Iran as well. That has now been reversed. Trump’s decision may have been acceptable had it come after a careful consideration of advice from nuclear experts. It did not. His decision to trash the deal largely stems from his intense dislike of his predecessor, president Barack Obama, whose legacy he wants to dismantle. Besides, it came on the advice of Israel and Saudi Arabia, countries that are keen to see Iran’s power diminished. The US President has said that the JCPOA is the “worst deal” ever made; it was too soft on Iran and did not address its ballistic missile programme or rein in its armed proxies in conflicts in other countries. Several of his criticisms have to do with issues that the nuclear deal was not aimed at addressing. Still, the deal was not perfect. But no agreement is. However, it was the best possible deal in the circumstances then. It provided a foundation document for signatories to build upon its merits and address its shortcomings through discussion and dialogue. Withdrawing from the deal was easy. Is Trump capable of negotiating a better deal, one that is acceptable to all parties? He is not.

Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton is said to be a strong proponent of war with Iran. Trump could go down the road to war with Iran, egged on by the Saudis and Israel. However, there is a silver lining. Other signatories have said that they remain committed to the JCPOA. That is good news; the deal is not dead yet. Understandably, Iranian hardliners, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who have been saying all along that the US cannot be trusted, are demanding more guarantees from France, Russia and the other signatories. It is imperative that the latter open negotiations with Iran immediately to reassure it of their support.

The unfolding drama, which has underscored US’ unreliability as a partner, will be keenly watched in North Korea. It could weaken North Korean President Kim Jong-un’s interest in reaching an agreement on his country’s nuclear weapons programme with the US and other powers.

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Scrapping Iran N-deal reckless

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