The world holds its breath ahead of US President Trump’s announcement regarding the Iran Deal. The move could spark a dangerous global crisis.
Ahead of the US government’s decision on the Iran Deal, the not-for- profit, transatlantic advocacy group UANI hosted the event Tick-tock: Should we salvage the Iran Deal? on 2 May in Brussels. It brought together experts from both sides of the Atlantic to discuss the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the consequences a withdrawal by the US would have on global security.
The chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, David McAllister, expressed Europe’s frustration as he tried to understand the US position. In his opinion, we “shouldn’t scrap the deal” because the credibility of the US, EU and UN is at stake as well as the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The MEP added that Trump`s announcement that the US was considering withdrawing from the deal was not closely co-ordinated with its allies.
While the Iran Deal could have achieved many of its stated goals, Iran continues to engage on ballistics missile development, human rights abuses and aggression in the region, said Norman Roule, who spent 34 years in the Central Intelligence Agency. He stressed that the JCPOA is a political deal under which every party could pull out individually. The EU needs to acknowledge the problems the US has with it and work together with great vigour. The Iran Deal put in place the strongest monitoring system ever which allows inspection of Iran’s nuclear programme in an unprecedented way. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has indicated that Iran has complied with the terms of the deal, but Norman Roule considered what the consequences would be if the JCPOA ended.
Agreeing with Roule, Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute, added that regardless of sanctions, Iran is a deeply corrupt regime. He elaborated that Western businesses went to the country and came out disgusted not due to the sanctions but because of the economic environment. While several EU Member States agree with upholding the deal, Germany, France and the UK share the opinion that the JCPOA has central flaws – unfortunately, this is not translated into policy. A solution to the regional tensions would be to support a regime change in Iran. Schwammenthal proposed strengthening the opposition, and within means of diplomacy, weaken the current regime.
It is now a case of wait and see. While the EU is still hoping that President Trump does not withdraw from the deal, it is not clear what the consequences of such a move will be, though we may find out sooner rather than later.