It has been a year since Iran and the P5+1 group of countries reached a historic nuclear agreement in Geneva. Under the accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran undertook to limit certain aspects of its nuclear program in return for the removal of all-nuclear related sanctions. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has on multiple occasions confirmed Iran’s compliance with its obligations under the nuclear agreement.
Press TV has spoken to Pye Ian, independent economic and political researcher, as well as Michael Lane, founder of American Institute for Foreign Policy, to discuss the issue.
Ian believes if the United States unilaterally moves to undermine the agreement, it will be further isolated on the international stage, adding that it will give the impression that “it is very difficult to proceed with negotiating with Washington in any capacity under good faith measures.”
He also noted the US is redeploying former US President Richard Nixon’s “madman theory” of foreign policy in order to paint an “unpredictable” picture of President-elect Donald Trump.
“Thus, it is better to heed any sense of warnings out of Washington,” the analyst said, because Trump is capable of practically doing anything “in violation of any and all international agreements.”
Ian went on to say that with regard to the JCPOA, the United States’ approach is to isolate Iran as much as possible by playing a “carrot and stick routine.”
The analyst further opined that Trump can almost tear up the nuclear agreement on his own regardless of what other parties involved have stated because of the girth of power the US wields in international finance, foreign affairs, and military.
He also argued the problem with the JCPOA is the “semi-opaque nature” of it.
Therefore, he reasoned, anything that would be deemed as “uncouth” from Washington “could violate something ad hoc with regard to how the JCPOA is perceived.”
He concluded by saying that the European Union and the United States may take contradictory approaches to the issue in order to play a “good cop/ bad cop” and project confusion.
Meanwhile, the other panelist on the program, Michael Lane maintained that the JCPOA is not a “legally binding agreement” and it does not even rise to the level of an “executive agreement” as President Barack Obama has described it.
Therefore, he said, it can be “scrubbed legally” by Donald Trump at any point that he wants to.
However, he predicted that Trump will probably keep a very close eye on the JCPOA and will take minor violations of the agreement much more seriously than Obama.
Lane further said Trump is pursuing the “madman strategy” not only in domestic but also in international affairs.
“He makes a statement that is well beyond what he expects to get, he makes a statement that is well beyond what his bottom line is, he makes a statement that causes confusion, that causes people to look and say what is that all about… but nonetheless I believe he knows what he is doing, I believe they are all intentional,” he stated.
According to the analyst, if the United States decides to ratchet up sanctions against Iran, the European countries involved in the nuclear agreement will follow Washington because it is still “the 800-pound economic gorilla.”