President Trump’s reimposition of broad sanctions on those doing business with Iran puts the US in further violation of the JCPOA nuclear agreement, which has successfully blocked all Iranian paths to a nuclear weapon. This action hands an astonishing victory to Iranian hardliners seeking to harm the US and our allies, and could help lead our country down the path to another destructive war of choice in the Middle East.
Iran’s hardliners have long worked to undermine diplomacy-oriented domestic political rivals, sew regional instability and diminish US influence on the world stage. Now, by unilaterally abrogating the anti-nuclear pact, an American president has done all three. Far from being cowed into capitulation by Trump’s bid to impose “maximum pressure,” Iran’s hardliners will continue to be bolstered by the breakdown it causes in the multilateral international coalition that, under the JCPOA, has stood resolute against a nuclear-armed Iran.
As the Iranian regime’s worst actors reap benefits from this move, many others will suffer. The people of Iran, particularly the young and ill, will face an even greater shortage of jobs and medicine. US allies forced to choose between their own obligations under the agreement and their access to the American market will lose economic ground and influence to Russia and China. Israel and all those threatened by Iranian forces and terrorist proxies throughout the region will face the specter of an emboldened Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps given a freer hand by the regime’s top leadership.
Should Trump’s actions lead to dissolution of the agreement, his “war cabinet” can be expected to push towards armed conflict and “regime change.” If the president does push us into war, its devastating cost will be paid by families from Tehran to Tel Aviv to Tacoma.
The majority of Americans who oppose the president’s reckless abandonment of the agreement must urge Congress to prevent this slide into conflict. Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in Congress that would bar funding for an unauthorized war against Iran. In just a few days, voters will have the opportunity to elect a new, pro-diplomacy Congress that can serve as a bulwark against Donald Trump’s dangerous and destructive policies in the Middle East.