Safety in the nuclear agreement

Every three months the Iran Nuclear Agreement Act obliges the American administration to certify to Congress that Iran is complying with the terms of the agreement by following the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. President Trump has threatened to withhold certification despite the fact the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, has confirmed Iran’s complete compliances with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Still the president is trying hard to find a reason not to certify the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

He was forced to re-certify in April and July because, despite his pressure, even his National Security Team could not provide a reason not to. This time his U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, who has no foreign policy experience and a lot of political ambition has provided her boss with a “Trumped up” reason. But it probably won’t hold up. Haley claims that the fact that Iran does not allow access to some military sites is a violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. That is untrue. Neither she nor Trump has done their homework. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action does not require Iran to allow routine access to these sites. If, however any of these sites appear suspect there is a type of “warrant” process which allows International Atomic Agency inspectors access. So Trump will probably use the national-security clause. He’ll claim that because Iran supports terrorism and engages in ballistic missile testing the country is a threat to the United States. His refusal to re-certify the Iran Nuclear Agreement allows the reimposing of the sanctions that were lifted with the signing of the agreement. However, reimposing sanctions would increase terrorist support and risk Iran moving on quickly to more dangerous weapons i.e. nuclear weapons.

Most Iranians are like you and me. All they want is a good life where they can earn a comfortable living and do so in peace. Since the lifting of sanctions expanded their economic opportunities they can now see the possibility of achieving that simple honest goal.

Slapping the sanctions back on jeopardizes their opportunity to do so. The unfairness of the situation would foster resentment against America and Americans. After all Iran is holding up their end of the deal and they are being punished anyway. The hardliner Iranians would feed this resentment radicalizing normally peaceful people and increasing the number of potential terrorists – terrorists that will find a way to get to us. (Immigration bans are no deterrent, look at 9/11).

Then there is the nuclear threat that the Nuclear Agreement was supposed to reduce. If the United States weakens the Agreement by pulling out Iran could become more determined to develop nuclear weapons and the United States would have absolutely no negotiating power to deter them. In fact the United States would have compromised its negotiating power worldwide. Why trust a government that pulls out of a sanctified agreement that is being fully complied with? Would North Korea? This is how Trump makes America safe?

Should Trump follow through with his threat to withhold certification, Congress can vote whether or not to reimpose the American sanctions. Our Congressman Tom Reed, sticking to Republication agenda, was against the Iran Nuclear Agreement upon its inception and he is a strong supporter of anything President Trump does. We know how he would vote, as usual in his own career-enhancing interests. Do you think Tom Reed cares about making America safe for you and me?

Christina Nelson Scherman is a Conewango Valley resident.

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