In 2015, the U.S. under the Obama administration — along with Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and the European Union — agreed on a landmark nuclear deal with Iran. Basically, the negotiations created a way "to restrict Iran's nuclear program in exchange for economic benefits."
During an intense campaign to undercut the agreement, Republican John Boehner — then speaker of the House — invited Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to address Congress in February 2015 in a shocking move some called a breach of diplomatic protocol. Neither Boehner nor Netanyahu informed the White House about this invitation in advance. After his address to Congress, Netanyahu, supported by the Israeli lobby here, continued to actively intervene in the U.S. political system in opposition to this important agreement.
In September 2015, the Obama administration was finally able to prevent the Senate from stopping the agreement. Leaders around the world, including Israeli military and security experts, consider the agreement to be the best deal possible, one that makes the Middle East and the world more secure.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, the group responsible for monitoring Iran's compliance with the agreement, continues to report each quarter that Iran is fulfilling its commitments. In addition, the U.N., the EU and the other five nations praise Iran for its adherence to the terms of the agreement. Given these reports, the Trump administration has reluctantly certified Iran's compliance to Congress for the past two quarters.
During the election campaign, in his usual fashion, Trump called this agreement "the worst deal ever." Thus it is not surprising that he has ordered his national security aides to find him a rationale for declaring that Iran is not in compliance. If Trump were to claim Iranian noncompliance on Oct. 15 despite an IAEA report to the contrary, what might happen? It's possible that Congress could move to reimpose the sanctions against Iran that were suspended under the agreement, an act that would likely derail the deal.
If the U.S. were to act without evidence of noncompliance by Iran, how would the other partners to the agreement react? Would the U.S. now be able to negotiate other agreements? What would the U.S. gain by violating the deal?
Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, a nonproliferation group that supported efforts to negotiate the agreement, said: "There is no compelling national security rationale for pulling out of this agreement. ... It's only blind ideology behind the push to end it."
It is important to contact your representative and two senators (Rep. Jared Polis, 202-225-2161; Sen. Michael Bennet, 202-224-5852; and Sen. Cory Gardner, 202-224-5941) and tell them that you support the agreement with Iran and don't want the U.S. to destroy its credibility by derailing the deal without credible evidence of violations.
The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center's "Peace Train" runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.