“The Iran nuclear deal is working as intended. Trump is on the brink of pulling out of it anyway.”
If President Donald Trump withdraws from the Iran nuclear deal Tuesday, the world could change very quickly.
The nuclear agreement between Iran and the so-called P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany) puts tight restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the relaxation of some punishing international sanctions on Iran. It was the Obama administration’s biggest foreign policy achievement. Now Trump has the chance to wound the deal, and possibly kill it altogether.
Trump and other critics argue that Iran can’t be trusted and that the agreement limits — but doesn’t end — Iran’s nuclear program. The deal’s many supporters, which include all of Washington’s closest European allies, say Iran has kept up its part of the deal and that pulling out of it would do more harm than good. […]
The case against the Iran deal has little to do with the deal’s technical details. President Trump has never disputed any of these points; nor has there been any independent evidence of Iran failing to comply with its obligations.
No, the argument instead is that the deal isn’t enough to justify relaxing sanctions. Critics point to Iran’s continued testing of ballistic missiles, for example, and note that some of the deal’s terms expire after a decade.
So when President Trump says the Iran deal is a bad deal, he’s not saying it’s not working as intended: Everyone agrees that Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon has been limited by the deal, at least for the time being. The question is whether that’s enough and, if not, what could be done to improve it.