February 4, 2017


Want to renegotiate the Iran deal? Much harder than it looks (Richard Nephew, December 9, 2016, Brookings)

If we walk, we likely walk alone

It is here that JCPOA opponents, now giddy about the possibility of reversing or renegotiating the JCPOA, have their work cut out.  Most of the world is satisfied with the JCPOA and the results of its implementation and does not want to see the JCPOA endangered either to improve its terms now or address other issues. The Trump administration would have to convince countries first to join in a renegotiation effort or embrace a strategy that might imperil the JCPOA to get at non-nuclear issues; and, second, if that stalls or fails, to reimpose sanctions against Iran or accept U.S. sanctions to restrict the business activities of their banks and companies.

In the right context (such as Iranian cheating), the United States could regather the coalition of states necessary to reimpose costs on the Iranian government and perhaps compel compliance.  In such a context though, I doubt international sanctions pressure would shift Iranian decisionmaking and bring it back into compliance, judging that an Iranian decision to walk away from the JCPOA would--in effect--be an Iranian decision to restart its nuclear weapons program, come what may.

Trump would have few allies in a decision to abandon the JCPOA. Some JCPOA skeptics apparently agree, hoping to get Iran to back away from the deal instead by amping up the pressure on Iran for non-nuclear issues. Unless there is Iranian cheating, they judge that there is insufficient global support for a renewed pressure campaign.

The United States won't be able to snap its fingers and compel cooperation from countries, banks, and companies. Instead, it would be fighting an uphill struggle, all while Iran either divides the international community by playing the victim or by expanding its nuclear program, putting at risk the stability and security of the Middle East.

...if Donald could reduce trade as much as he wants to it would leave Iran more integrated with the world economy than the US.  we'd be isolated, not them.

Posted by at February 4, 2017 7:15 AM