The final phase of the Iran Nuclear Deal was signed on 14th July 2015 known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Under the agreement, Iran agreed to bring down its uranium enrichment to 3.67 per cent and opened its nuclear facilities for the inspection of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The US, in the response, decided to withdraw almost all the nuclear related sanctions and provide Tehran approximately $10 billion as a compensation for its freezing assets in other countries. The deal was celebrated in Europe because it was the largest trading partner of Iran. Iranian elite people also welcomed it because it opened an opportunity for them to engage in global economic activities.
However, American Congress, Saudi Arabia and Israel disliked the agreement. It was an executive presidential order and could be revoked by the Congress any time. Hence, there were more chances of its reversal, once Obama was replaced.
Trump, during election campaigns, promised to pull the US out from it. He fulfilled his commitment and on 8th May 2018, parted the US from it. American analysts mention three reasons for Trump’s unilateral decision to withdraw from it.
First, Trump considered it to be a defective agreement and according to him it did not completely end the Iran’s nuclear ambitions to get a bomb. The fear was further reinforced when Iranian top nuclear official said that the country could restart the nuclear program in days.
Second, Trump believed that its supreme leader has used the money received under it to sponsor its militant groups in Middle East. He feared that it would increase the influence of Iran in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and eventually in Saudi Arabia that would affect the national interest of the US, as Iran is not as pliable ally as Riyadh.
Thirdly, the Congress was already against the deal. It was the presidential executive order and the Congress was waiting for an opportunity to undo it. Thus, as soon as Obama was replaced by Trump, the congress acted in hastily and pushed the US out of it.
However, trump did a great blunder by withdrawing from the JCPOA without realizing its catastrophic drawbacks for the US itself.
Drawbacks of US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal are given below
- Boost the enthusiasm of Iran to get a nuclear bomb:
The US decision of withdrawing will create a new wave of passion among Iranian people to develop nuclear weapons. It will be the calculated kick on the face of Trump. Hassan Rouhani, already said, after American decision of withdrawal that he would try hard to salvage the deal by engaging with other European countries that were part of the deal. Once, they did not cooperate, he said that Iran would start enriching Uranium more than before. Thus, Trump has, in fact, intensified the zeal of Iran to get an actual bomb.
- Setback to American relations with the European countries:
It was Europe that initiated the deal to get the economic sanctions lifted from Iran. Europe was Iran’s largest trading partner before the sanctions. It was the reason that when the deal was signed in 2015, Hassan Rouhani made his first trip to Europe and signed economic deals worth billions of dollars. Given these conditions, Trump’s withdrawal from it is against the national interest of the European countries. On the other hand, these countries are the uncompromised allies of America. However, the deal will definitely create difference between Europe and America in a long run because the former will never compromise its national interests in the favour of latter.
- Drifting of Iran towards Russian bloc permanently:
The blunder of Trump will push Iran towards Russian bloc and permanently end any sort of cooperation between Washington and Tehran in future. Iran is very important country for super powers for many reasons: first, it enjoys good influence in the Middle East. Second, it controls the Strait of Hormuz from where around 2/3rd of global oil supply passes. Third, it is the only stable Muslim country in the region that has potential to defeat regional terrorism. Fourthly, it is home to numerous oil and gas reservoirs that can fuel super powers, once Saudi’s oil is depleted. Fifthly, it is a hub of Shia population of the region. Finally, it possesses the good governance structure and is opposed to global terrorism. The US has, now, lost this crucial partner in the Middle East and given chance to China and Russia to reap maximum benefits by engaging in partnership with Tehran.
- Negative feelings among Iranian people towards the US:
The immediate drawback of US withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Deal is that it will bolster the anti-American feelings among the native Iranian citizens. It must be noted that these were Iranian indigenous elite that forced their government to reach an agreement with the US on the issue of nuclear weapons. They wanted to improve their lifestyle by engaging in trade activities with global partners. It was the reason that when the deal was finally signed, Iranian streets were seen full of people celebrating the victory. However, the recent decision of Trump will create anti-American feelings among the local people that America is more an enemy than ally.
- Eliminate a chance of cooperation to bring peace in Middle East:
US-Iran cooperation is fundamental pre-requisite to bring peace in Middle East because Iran enjoys its influences on many countries there. Notably, several months after the deal was struck, Iran, with the support of the US, was invited to the UN’s Syrian peace talks for the first time. Besides, Iran has also played an important role in defeating ISIS in Iraq. However, the US has eliminated a chance of these types of cooperation by withdrawing from the deal.
Thus, the US has committed a great blunder by pulling it out from the Iran Nuclear Deal without realizing its drawbacks. Now, Iran will strive hard to get nuclear weapons and drift itself to Russia and China for economic respite. Besides, it will raise anti-American feelings among the local citizens of Iran and will also deteriorate relations of the US with Europe. Moreover, it will eliminate the much-needed cooperation between Washington and Tehran to solve the crisis of Middle East. The European countries should take measures to persuade the Congress to undo the Deal.