The American Iranian Council is dismayed by the Trump administration’s decision today to pull out of the JCPOA.
As we stated on October 13, 2017 when President Trump decided not to recertify the Iran Deal, we oppose the action for a variety of reasons, including:
The fact that Iran has complied with the terms of the JCPOA. The IAEA has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance and top U.S. military and State Department officials have also confirmed that Iran is complying with the deal;
The JCPOA is not a bilateral agreement with Iran, but a multilateral agreement among the P5+1, which includes important U.S. allies who continue to express their support for the deal. Rejecting it puts the US on the opposite side of a major international agreement and its allies;
Scrapping the JCPOA is a dangerous precedent to set given the need for potentially similar diplomatic negotiations with countries like North Korea; and
Rejecting the nuclear deal harms US interests: it reduces the US' stature around the world and it replaces the benefits of the deal (such as stability and a non-nuclear Iran) with instability and uncertainty, which could result in additional US military presence in the region.
Iran to negotiate with Europeans, Russia and China about remaining in nuclear deal
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that his government remains committed to a nuclear deal with world powers, despite a decision by the United States to withdraw from the accord, but is also ready to step up its uranium enrichment. Rouhani, who spoke following President Donald Trump's speech announcing the U.S. withdrawal, said he has directed Iranian diplomats to negotiate with the deal's remaining signatories, including European countries, Russia and China. (Chicago Tribune)
Bennett Johnston, an American politician in the Democratic Party and lobbyist who represented Louisiana in the United States Senate is the current chairman of the American-Iranian Council. Mr. Johnston is of the opinion that “Trying to predict what President Trump will do is a fool’s errand, but it does appear that every indication is that he wishes to withdraw from JCPOA.”
“Netanyahu clearly wants to kill the deal,” Johnston tells the Tehran Times.
The Chairman of the American-Iranian Council also adds that “IAEA is the proper group to assess Iran's compliance with JCPOA..”
Our latest Iran Chat is with Dr. James Miller, Managing Director of the Oxford International Development Group, a health research and project management consulting company in Oxford, Mississippi.
Dr. Miller began working in the area of health diplomacy in 2004 while seeking ways to improve health outcomes and access to medical care for people in the impoverished rural Mississippi Delta region. For this, he turned to Iran’s primary health care model, which is known for its system of health houses staffed by citizen health workers who provide health education and preventative health services to their local communities. Recognized by the World Health Organization for its success in improving medical outcomes for rural communities in Iran, Dr. James Miller began working with the architects of this system to develop and adapt the Iranian model in ways that could address the health disparity challenges in the impoverished Delta regions.
Religion can be perceived as a core factor in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy. As the only state in the Middle East whose government is guided by theology further encouraged by its constant usage of religiously-imbued messages, it is easy to come to such a conclusion, despite its fallacy. It is therefore important to analyze the limitations of religion in Iranian foreign policy to understand, instead, what drives it. This paper argues that religion is nothing more than a tool leveraged to aid Iran in its aspirations towards becoming a more significant regional player. I will discuss Iran’s foreign policy and show that despite the religious discourse, Iran’s foreign policy is shaped instead by the regime’s interests. It must not be overlooked that religion is an important tool and I will show how the regime leverages it in its involvements abroad. Religion, however, is not the core principle driving foreign policies. Further, it is crucial to discuss Saudi Arabia to address how both players use religion in their competition for regional power status. Analyzing Saudi Arabia is important because it has implications for the region’s future, as well as a mechanism of comparing Iran’s activity.
Like many of its Middle Eastern neighbors, the Islamic Republic of Iran sits atop considerable deposits of fossil fuels. It boasts the world’s second largest reserves of natural gas and the fourth largest reserves of crude oil. Iran extracts an estimated 4.1 million barrels per day of crude oil and nearly 200 billion cubic meters annually of natural gas, making it respectively the world's fifth and third largest producer of these fuels. Oil is critical to the Iranian economy with about half of the country’s total revenue coming from its sale. Until recently, however, natural gas in Iran has been almost exclusively for domestic consumption.
Iran's oil and gas sector has been buoyed by the 2015 Joint-Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which relieved U.S., U.N and E.U sanctions under which Iran’s ability to export oil and access foreign investment had been curtailed. With the European market again open to it, Iran’s oil exports have been on the rise. In 2017, the Islamic Republic exported nearly 800 million barrels of crude oil, 80% more than in 2016. These sales netted $41 billion in revenue.