If you’ve been following the news, you may have heard about Trump withdrawing the United States from the ‘Iran nuclear deal’. It might not see like a big issue, but there’s only so far my eyes can roll! What’s been decades of hard work, Trump has unraveled in a few words. What’s more, it seems like Trump’s withdrawal from the deal is more of a ploy, rather than anything strategic.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, was an agreement signed in July 2015 by Iran and the UN Security Council P5+1 (UK, France, USA, China, Russia + Germany) with the goal of limiting the nuclear capabilities of Iran. In return for massively reducing its enriched-uranium stockpile and allowing the international community to monitor Iran’s nuclear facilities, U.N sanctions would be lifted and Iran would receive relief from the USA and EU.
This was a huge step forward for both Iran and the international community. For Iran, it ended nearly a decade-long UN sanction programme, which had mostly isolated the Iranian people. For the US and Europe, this was the accumulation of nearly three decades of pressure (since the 1979 Iranian revolution!) to curb Iran’s nuclear abilities and ensure that no weapons could be produced from the enriched-uranium.
Since his election campaign begun, Trump has been a fierce opponent of the Iran nuclear deal and promised to withdraw the US from it once he was elected. And while part of the deal with the US legal system was that the president had to sign for it every 90 days, it has taken Trump over a year to announce a withdrawal. The question of “Why now?” is pretty unclear, but was is obvious, is that Trump couldn’t have chosen a worse time to announce it.
In a few short months, Trump will be meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, regarding the subject of…denuclearisation. While the meeting will be historic, it has become more unlikely that any real progress will be made. All Kim Jong Un has witnessed, is the US reversing on an agreement involving nuclear power. What might’ve been the most significant step forward for Trump’s presidency with forever be overshadowed by his reckless abandonment of the Iran nuclear deal.
What is next for the Iran nuclear deal? Well, the remaining signatories have agreed to continue abiding by the deal in the hopes of keeping it alive. While the US may still be able to impose crippling sanctions as the largest economy, it does not have control of the UN Security Council or the EU. Trump is continuing to burn bridges, while the rest of the globe moves towards greater co-operation.