Republican Senate should thwart US return to JCPOA

2021 Outlook Assessment

Originally published by Arab News

As former Vice President Joe Biden begins his transition into the White House ahead of January’s inauguration day, he seems determined to begin his four-year legacy by revising substantial decisions made by his predecessor, President Donald Trump.

On May 8, 2018, Trump announced one of the most significant decisions of his presidency: Terminating the US participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran and reimposing sanctions that had been lifted under the 2015 deal, which was reached during former President Barack Obama’s time in office.

When you search Google for “Obama and the JCPOA,” the first result that appears is a link to Obama’s White House archive with the title, “The Historic Deal That Will Prevent Iran from Acquiring a Nuclear Weapon.” Indeed, the agreement was historic and important to its primary beneficiary, the clerical regime in Tehran.

The JCPOA — also known as the Iran nuclear deal — empowered Iran’s ambitions for regional dominance and led to the removal of the name of Qassem Soleimani, then-commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, from the UN sanctions list.

Under the agreement, Tehran gained the resources to rebuild its arsenal, sponsor terrorism, and carry out attacks against the US and its allies through proxy militias in the region. Moreover, the Obama administration shipped $1.7 billion in cash to Iran in exchange for four American citizens who were being held hostage by the regime.

The deal did not stop the Iranian ballistic missile program and did not prevent rockets from targeting US troops in Iraq or falling into Israel.

You may or may not agree with Trump’s foreign policy, but the president’s decision to withdraw from the infamous deal was brave and necessary for US national security, as well as for the protection of its allies in the Middle East.

When the Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison expressed their outrage and disapproval of this move, it meant that Trump’s decision was a victory for the US and the Middle East over the repressive and malign Iranian regime.

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About Dalia al-Aqidi

Dalia al-Aqidi is an award-winning international journalist and a commentator covering foreign affairs, terrorism, radical Islamism, and terrorist groups. She has spent over three decades reporting from the capital cities of the Middle East, Europe and Washington D.C. writing , producing and hosting live presentations on television and radio in English and Arabic. A Muslim born in Baghdad, Iraq, Dalia has been fighting terrorism and oppression through her entire adult life-whether it be through reporting, often putting her in war zones and terrorist attack locations, or through her collaboration with the U.S. Intelligence community.