The Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, was adopted on the 14th of July 2015 by Iran, the US, France, China, Russia, the UK, the European Union and Germany. It is a landmark deal that curbed Iran’s nuclear ambitions and averted a nuclear conflict in the Middle East.
The deal’s basic tenets are that Iran must eliminate its stockpile of medium enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%, and reduce the number of its gas centrifuges for 13 years. For the next 15 years, Iran will only enrich uranium up to 3.67%, which is too low of to create any weapon of mass destruction. The deal is also impressive in that Iran agreed to be monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). All of these efforts by Iran were made in exchange for relief from economic sanctions by the United States, the EU, and other members of the United Nations Security Council.
President Trump has long criticized the Iran deal, stating that it was the worst deal ever, and that he will renege on the deal on his self-imposed deadline of May 12 unless Iran makes new concessions, which international analysts state are irrational and unreasonable, effectively, signalling his willingness to end the deal no matter what. President Trump criticizes the sunset clauses that are contained within the deal, which state that certain aspects of the deal will come to an end within ten to twenty years.
Furthermore, many political scientists believe that if Trump pulls out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, that Iran will then rush to acquire a nuclear weapon, further accelerating and escalating the tension in the Middle East, which will inevitably lead to a protracted conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia, who was vowed to acquire a nuclear weapon if Iran does.
Opponents of the deal, such as Trump or John Bolton, speak of Iran in extreme terms, stating that it is a murderous regime, that it is never to be trusted and that the deal just kicks the nuclear can down the road. Trump plans on nixing the deal, effectively angering Iran, frustrating the other members of the deal, losing American credibility, and undermining peaceful diplomacy in the Middle East.
This is false: Iran’s total enrichment capacity is paralyzed until 2028, due to restrictions on Iran’s enhancement and centrifuge deployment capabilities. Other important restrictions will last even longer, such as the limit on the level of uranium enrichment which will be restricted to 3.67%, which is way below the 90% which is needed for a weapon.
Massachusetts Peace action has been a staunch supporter of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Although the deal presents some flaws (the deal itself is a major achievement, but the sunset clauses are not to be dismissed), it should not be thrown out just to satisfy the whims of an islamophobic, violent, and warmongering president, who seeks only to satisfy his base, and basest desires. We must continue to resist Trump’s short-term policy whims, and fight to educate the American public about the advantages of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Massachusetts Peace Action will organize speaker events, rallies, guest speaker events, and workshops in order to make sure that the largest number of people possible support the deal.