The decision on whether the United States should remain with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal signed in 2015 between Iran and six world powers — which comes up for re-certification in mid-October — has already been made by U.S. President Donald Trump.
But contrary to popular belief, the president is good at keeping secrets when he so chooses. And he’s not telling anyone what he’s decided about America’s position with the Iranian nuclear deal as it comes up for reassessment in mid-October — at least, not yet.
During his speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last Tuesday, he called the deal “an embarrassment to the United States,” a judgment shared publicly from the UNGA podium by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles,” Trump went on. “And we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program. The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”
Despite that, until this point the Trump administration has certified Iran’s compliance with the accord.
But Iran is working hard to test the limits of America’s patience. This past week Tehran tested another ballistic missile that can strike the State of Israel, this time one that is also capable of carrying multiple warheads.
Although technically in compliance with the JCPOA, the ballistic missile test is not at all in compliance with prior UN mandates, nor is it in compliance with the spirit of the nuclear deal, inasmuch as the missiles are likely to be able to carry nuclear warheads, a technology that Iran is supposedly proscribed from working on for the eight years at least.
Moreover, although the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency watchdog has been allowed to carry out some inspections, Iran has barred the agency from inspections at any of its military research facilities, all of which are sites where nuclear technology research and other work has been carried out in the past.