op-ed

Why JCPOA Was A Bad Idea

Reuters

Ali Hajizade Founder, Editor-in-Chief of thegreatmiddleeast.com

The United States signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) when Obama was in office. This process was accompanied by disputes. The decision to quit JCPOA, which President Trump announced on May 8, 2018, is also accompanied by disputes.

From the outset, this agreement was controversial, and many people in the U.S. and Middle East were against it. Washington hasn’t been on good terms with Iran after JCPOA, but it also spoiled its relations with traditional allies in the region.

JCPOA diverges from the U.S. national interests, both short- and long-term.

I enjoy reading articles and listening to speeches by Western experts and politicians, who are far from the region and don’t have any real understanding of the reality of the Great Middle East region and Iran’s role and ambitions in it. They often mislead their readers and viewers.

Let’s briefly question the effects of JCPOA:

  • Has Iran stopped its aggressive regional expansion and proxy wars in Yemen and Syria?
  • Has Iran stopped developing new missiles, essentially means of nuclear delivery?
  • Has Iran stopped supporting terrorist organizations?
  • Has Iran stopped to interfere in internal affairs of the countries in the region?
  • Has Iran stopped the harassment of its citizens, because of their ethnic, religious affiliation or political views?

These are just some of the questions that may arise, and I’m afraid that the answers to many of them are negative.

So, why does Iran have to give up its nuclear ambitions? For the Iranian regime, JCPOA was just an American ploy to revive Iran’s economy and to gain legal access to Western technologies and frozen Iranian assets.

In 2015, the Washington Institute published a little research on “The Regional Impact of Additional Iranian Money.” After signing JCPOA, the Iranian regime grew more active and aggressive in the region and in hot spots.

European partners are very unhappy with Washington’s exit from JCPOA. There is a reasonable question: What will happen to disgruntled partners from the EU? I guess it is no secret that large European businesses have never been opposed to cooperating with Iran. After signing JCPOA, a number of large European companies have signed highly profitable deals with Iran. I assume it could be a kind of bribe from Tehran to enlist the support of European corporations.

After the United State’s exit from JCPOA and appeals to foreign companies to leave Iran, there is a concern in European business communities regarding possible U.S. sanctions against companies working with Iran. I assume Washington has enough leverages to put European companies back on the right track, and they need to do it as soon as possible. For their own good.

The departure of European companies will not destroy Iran’s economy, but it will hit hard, finally leading to the reduction of Iran’s expansionist ambitions.

The problem with JCPOA is that the agreement is partial; that’s why it is ineffective and non-viable. The nuclear program is just one problem, which comes from Iran. Problems and threats to Western democracy and Iran’s neighbors posed by Iran have to be tackled jointly. Every partial solution gives the Iranian regime room for maneuvering and manipulation. Unless a comprehensive approach to addressing the Iranian nuclear threat is not developed — a logical conclusion that will be the regime change in Iran — no agreement will be effective, at least because in nearly 40 years, the Iranian regime could create thousands of backdoors to avoid international control.

Ali Hajizade is a political analyst and the founder and editor-in-chief of thegreatmiddleeast.com. Follow Ali on Twitter.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.