Tearing up the Iran Nuclear Deal: A Fool’s Errand

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The new sanctions slapped on Iran (and Russia and North Korea) last week by the U.S. Congress—and the sanctions placed the previous week on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) by the U.S. Treasury, State, and Justice departments—threaten to make the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA – aka the Iran nuclear deal), hostage to the vagaries of hardliners in both Tehran and Washington.

Hardliners in both countries appear to be getting the upper hand as both countries decide what to do next regarding, what has been until now, an unprecedented breakthrough in relations between the two adversaries. Iranian President Rouhani seemed stung by the mid-July administration sanctions and quickly back-pedaled by calling out the Trump administration, saying that the new sanctions were “in contravention of the spirit and the text” of the agreement. Rouhani stressed that “Iran will respond appropriately” to U.S. sanctions.

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