Trump pulls US out of Iran nuclear deal: The agreement was “defective at its core”

Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell spoke with Mic about President Trump’s decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal.

But Trump reportedly informed the French president in a phone call Tuesday that he would withdraw the U.S. from the deal, and said in an announcement Tuesday afternoon that he would institute the “highest level” of economic sanctions against Iran.

That could result in Iran again pursuing a nuclear weapons program, something Alexandra Bell — a former State Department official during the Obama administration and senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation — told Mic would be an “Iraq War-level mistake” on the part of Trump.

In January, Trump demanded that legislation be passed to amend the deal in the following ways: allow “immediate inspections” by the U.S.; “ensure that Iran never even comes close to possessing a nuclear weapon;” ensure the deal lasts “forever”; and state that long-range missile testing is also “subject to severe sanctions” in the deal, just like nuclear weapons.

But Iran countered that it would make “no changes in the nuclear deal neither now nor in the future.” Trump’s move Tuesday appeared to be an effort to pressure Iran back to the negotiating table.

“There’s no evidence that this bull-in-a-china-shop approach will work,” Bell said. “It’s a deal that’s working and a deal that can be fixed.”

Trump’s decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action came Tuesday despite repeated confirmations by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran is complying with the agreement. Trump’s own administration has found Iran in compliance, and in April Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis praised its verification provisions as “robust.”

According to Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the fact that Trump is breaking the nuclear deal despite Iran’s apparent compliance could damage America’s credibility as it attempts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula during a potential summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“If I were North Korea, I would look at this and be worried about any potential deal,” Bell added. Read more