Dozens of diplomats and security experts are sending a loud and clear message to President Trump: It’s time to ditch the Iran nuclear deal.
The 45 former security officials who wrote to the president Wednesday urged him to consider the plan brainstormed by former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. The officials included experts who served in GOP administrations in senior roles related to nuclear weapons, arms control, nonproliferation and intelligence.
Ambassador Bolton’s strategy calls for canceling the deal – in consultation with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Israel and Saudi Arabia – because of the Islamic republic’s “outright violations and other unacceptable Iranian behavior.” Bolton wants more robust sanctions to permanently stop nuclear technology from being transferred to Iran. He also proposes increased sanctions because Iran is a leading state sponsor of terror and a major destabilizing actor in the Middle East.
Under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, President Trump’s administration is obligated to periodically determine whether Iran is meeting the terms of the nuclear deal. If the administration determines the nation is complying, it will recertify the agreement.
But the security experts are imploring Trump to refuse to recertify the deal next month.
“We also call on your administration to declare to Congress to Congress next month that Iran has not been complying with this agreement and that it is not in the national security interests of the United States,” their letter stated.
President Trump called the Iran deal “an embarrassment to the United States” and “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into” in his first speech to the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday. On Wednesday, Trump indicated he has made a decision on the fate of the Iran agreement, but he hasn’t revealed any details on the matter.
“Well, I have decided,” the president told inquiring reporters with a smile. “I’ll let you know what it is.”
After hearing Trump’s U.N. speech, Bolton told the Washington Examiner he believes it’s unlikely that the president will recertify the Iran deal.
“I don’t think we know what the president’s decision on the deal is going to be yet,” Bolton told the paper. “But these were very strong comments. And when you say, among other things, that the deal is an embarrassment to the U.S., it’s hard to see how you certify or stay in.”
The signatories of the letter to President Trump include:
- Gen. William G. Boykin, former deputy under secretary of defense for intelligence under President George W. Bush,
- Ambassador Hank Cooper, former chief U.S. negotiator for defense and space policy under President Ronald Reagan,
- Ambassador Robert Joseph, former under secretary of state for arms control and international security under President George W. Bush,
- Douglas Feith, former under secretary of defense for policy under President George W. Bush.
“It is time to move beyond President Obama’s appeasement of Iran,” the letter stated, “and to begin work on a comprehensive new approach that fully addresses the menace that the Iranian regime increasingly poses to American and international security.”