Welcome Iranian Protests – Don’t Co-opt Them to Kill Nuclear Agreement

January 9, 2018

The resolution that passed the House of Representatives today supporting the democratic rights of the Iranian people is an important and welcome affirmation of the protest movement that has broken out there in recent weeks.

This resolution comes just as President Trump is weighing a monumentally important deadline to decide the future of the Iran nuclear agreement. The president is reportedly contemplating whether to unilaterally violate and withdraw from the agreement by declining to reissue a series of sanctions waivers in the next week. We are deeply concerned that President Trump may seek to use the Iranian protests as a disingenuous pretext to take this action against the nuclear deal.

Such a baseless move could have disastrous consequences for the US and our allies — and for the Iranian people themselves. At a time when the world’s focus should be on supporting the Iranian people’s effort to decide their own future, the administration would be creating a new, nuclear crisis that could put our country on the path to a destructive and unnecessary war.

If the president were to kill this agreement and provoke a new escalation with Iran, it would only empower the regime’s hardliners — and put the Iranian people in the crossfire. If the Trump administration is truly interested in helping the protesters and advancing the security of the US and our allies, it should maintain this agreement. And it should immediately revoke its own bigoted and shameful anti-refugee policy, which continues to ban Iranians fleeing political persecution from seeking sanctuary in the United States.

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