State of the Deal

Here’s our latest assessment of developments relating to the deal:

July 2017

July 14 was the second anniversary of the signing of the Iran nuclear deal. Read the Diplomacy Works statement marking the agreement’s two years of success here.

On July 17, the Trump Administration reluctantly recertified Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA. Sanctions waivers were also reissued as the U.S. committed to do under the deal and pursuant to the terms of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015.

In Congress, the House of Representatives has not yet taken up S.722, other sanctions bills that may impact relations with Iran are pending, and the National Defense Authorization Act was passed by the House.

June 2017

On June 2, the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran remains in compliance with the terms of the JCPOA.

On June 7, the Senate voted for cloture on S.722, the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017. This was the day of the terrorist attacks in Tehran.

On June 15, the Senate voted to approve S. 722 by a wide margin. Problematic provisions in the bill as drafted were modified to avoid egregiously violating our commitments under the JCPOA, but Diplomacy Works remains concerned about the signals this action sends to our counterparts and because provisions regarding the IRGC may negatively impact U.S. troops in the Middle East.  However, Diplomacy Works is encouraged that the Senate chose to use this bill to pivot to a more pressing and as yet unaddressed national security threat: the question of Russia meddling in our democracy.  As this legislation moves to the House of Representatives it will be critical to prevent changes that impact the nuclear deal.

Looking ahead, there are additional sanctions bills being discussed in Congress that may have implications for the JCPOA.  Some will likely come up for a vote in this work period.

May 2017

All participants are continuing to abide by their commitments.

On May 17, the Trump Administration reissued sanctions waivers that keep the U.S. in compliance with the deal. Read our analysis here.

On May 19, Iranian voters reelected President Rouhani, who ran on his record of negotiating the JCPOA and on a platform of additional engagement with the West and reforms at home. This is an indication that Iran intends to abide by the terms of the agreement despite the limited economic gains being felt by Iranians due to sanctions relief thus far.

On May 25, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved S.722, the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017. Amendments to this bill avoided an outright JCPOA violation, though concerns remain about its implications for the agreement. 


April 2017

First, the Trump Administration certified to Congress that the Iran nuclear deal is working.

Second, Secretary Tillerson made a statement after he certified that Iran was complying with the deal, that the JCPOA is not accomplishing its objectives — that it delays but does not prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state.

Secretary Tillerson also misleadingly compared the JCPOA to the Agreed Framework with North Korea, which ultimately failed to prevent North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons.

Finally, President Trump said that Iran is not complying with “the spirit of the deal.”