By Fred Fleitz — July 14, 2016
Today, a year after President Obama announced his “legacy” nuclear deal with Iran (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA), there is overwhelming evidence that the agreement is far worse than its critics believed. These concerns were recently exacerbated by a German intelligence report of efforts by Iran in 2015 to covertly acquire illicit nuclear technology from German companies. According to the report, “it is safe to expect” that Iran’s covert nuclear-procurement efforts are continuing.
The question now is how the next president should deal with the nuclear deal with Iran.
If Hillary Clinton wins the 2016 presidential election, I see no chance that she will tear up or renegotiate the Iran deal, since she owns it as much as President Obama does. Moreover, because of the divisive fight in Congress over the JCPOA last year, Clinton and the Democratic party are too invested in the nuclear deal to back away from it. Given how weak the JCPOA is and recent reports of Iranian cheating on the accord, I believe this means Iran would make substantial progress on its nuclear weapons program during a Hillary Clinton presidency.
Although Donald Trump has denounced the JCPOA as one of the worst international agreements ever negotiated, it is unclear how a Trump administration would deal with the Iran nuclear agreement. Trump has said he would try to negotiate a better agreement. Walid Phares, a top Trump foreign-policy adviser, reiterated this position in a recent Daily Caller interview in which he said Trump is “not going to get rid of an agreement that has the institutional signature of the United States.” According to Phares, Trump would renegotiate the agreement after consulting with his advisers and could send it back to Congress.
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