The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reported for the eighth time that Iran is complying with the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Since the Iran nuclear agreement was implemented, the IAEA has confirmed Iran’s compliance each and every time it has issued such a report.
This report confirms that the Iran deal is working is even as the Trump Administration ramps up their efforts to manufacture trouble for the deal where none exists. Prior to the release of this report, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley pressured the IAEA to begin inspecting Iranian military sites. Although this may sound reasonable on its surface, none of our allies or other signatories of the agreement have called for such inspections because no evidence has been presented to justify them. The IAEA is tasked with evaluating the facts and working with Iran to arrange inspections of additional sites if they are necessary to ensure the JCPOA is successful. So under the terms of the deal, unilateral demands won’t lead to inspections of military sites, it takes evidence to do that. And Ambassador Haley was not armed with evidence when she called for expanding the monitoring and verification regime.
Reporting suggests that President Trump has tasked his staff with finding evidence to justify decertifying Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal. This report makes that task more difficult because it remains clear that the international community believes the deal is working. However, if we examine recent history — the path to war with Iraq in the early 2000s — we may understand this Administration’s play book. Politicizing intelligence is extremely dangerous and costly, and America surely cannot afford risking another war in the region. U.S. foreign policy should be based on facts, and the facts presented today tell us that keeping the Iran deal in place is the best option for our security and that of our allies.