From cradle to grave, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has been a disaster for the United States. This dreadful deal crafted by the Obama Administration should not be carried forth by President Biden in any form, both for the sake of our nation and for our global standing. By giving money to terrorists, placing allies in harm’s way, and generally being ineffective in its stated goal, the JCPOA harms American interests while simultaneously boosting our enemies’ capabilities.
The linchpin of the JCPOA is the theory that if western nations lift crippling economic sanctions on Iran, Iran will agree to cease all of its hostile nuclear weapons ambitions and instead focus on peaceful nuclear power and research. However, when acknowledging what Iranian sanctions relief money would fund, then-Secretary of State John Kerry noted that “some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities… which are labeled terrorists.” The IRGC refers to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. This group is a state militia force that is responsible for supporting terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and has verifiably aided and abetted the killing of American service members in Iraq from 2003 onwards. Brutality such as this is the central reason President Biden should not continue the JCPOA. As John Kerry has attested, the continuance of this deal means more money for terrorists, who are willing and able to kill Americans and inflict harm upon our national interests.
Beyond a predictable increase in funds to terrorists, a renewed JCPOA threatens to upend American efforts towards peace in the Middle East. Recently, the U.S., Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain have signed the Abraham Accords — an agreement intended to strategically align the Jewish State of Israel with its Arab neighbors after decades of bloodshed and division. The pact is a clear bulwark against a militant Iranian regime whose attempts to destroy the state of Israel only serve to further destabilize the Middle East. The Abraham Accords provide military and economic cooperation that not only forestalls Iran’s geopolitical privations, but also deepens U.S. and Israeli alliances in the region. By reentering the JCPOA, President Biden would help to fund the very acts of destabilization that the Abraham Accords were meant to guard against. The lack of economic sanctions on Iran only serves to support Iranian ambitions, eliminating any strategic advantage the Arab-Israeli and American alliance had at providing a stable counter to the power of Iran.
As if a security and foreign policy calamity for American interests and allies weren’t enough, the JCPOA, if reauthorized, wouldn’t even eliminate the threat of a nuclear Iran. Under the terms of the deal, Iran must have its nuclear sites inspected by international observers; however, its military sites are exempt from these regular inspections without a 24-day deliberation process taking place beforehand. Such a glaring restriction of inspectors leaves Iran a very clear loophole to covertly continue nuclear research. Beyond any subterfuge, Iran could simply adhere to the deal and still acquire a nuclear device after key 2030 sunset provisions kick in. Importantly, under the current terms of the JCPOA, Iran can only enrich uranium to 3.67%, short of the 90% necessary to make a nuclear bomb. However, that limitation goes away in 2030 and Iran will be free to enrich to its heart’s desire, thus allowing Iran to quickly develop a nuclear device.
President Biden’s choice is clear. On the one hand, he can uphold American interests and be a champion for peace in a region starved for any semblance of stable, peaceful cooperation. Alternatively, he can forsake our allies, boost funds to terrorists and help to foster Iranian nuclear ambitions in the process. Rejoining the JCPOA would be a destructive affair — one that gives no promises of future peace and only serves to promote dangerous, violent forces on the world stage.