A political analyst says US statesmen are seeking to create the impression that any action they take against the Iran nuclear deal is legal.
Political commentator Reza Nasri has, in an article published on the Persian-language Khabar Online news website, weighed in on Washington’s policy on the nuclear deal Iran signed with the six world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The full text of the opinion piece follows.
Mr. Trump has been making very harsh and unusual comments against the JCPOA since he stepped into the political arena, whether as a presidential contender or as president. Wiser statesmen in the Trump administration, including [Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson and [Defence Secretary James] Mattis, who are well aware of the high costs of the unilateral annulment of the JCPOA by the White House, are seeking to temporarily maintain the deal to save face for now before adopting a raft of hostile and cumulative measures to gradually, and possibly, prompt Iran itself to pull out of the agreement.
To that end, they have adopted a two-pronged tactic.
First, they are seeking a political formula based on which the Trump administration’s retreat would not seem like a real pullout in the court of public opinion and in the eyes of the international community. Under the formula, they would try to create the impression that any possible leniency over the JCPOA, such as the renewal of the suspension of nuclear sanctions, is part of an overarching – and, of course, tougher – policy vis-à-vis Iran.
In other words, they want to create the impression that while revising their policy on Iran, they have devised a plan based on which the “tactical and transient leniency” is completely justifiable. Naturally, in order to establish their credibility and vindicate their move, they suggest that a ceremonial hostile action be taken in dealing with Iran in tandem with the leniency on the JCPOA. For instance, they announce that staying in the JCPOA is in line with US national interests for the time being, but draw on the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act recently approved by Congress to unleash legal attacks on the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)!
Second, they are seeking a legal formula that would enable them to conclusively justify for their European allies their hostile actions against Iran. Based on this formula, they would introduce the JCPOA as an agreement which is subject to two different legal systems – the US legal system and the one governing the JCPOA itself. This way, they would promote a dual legal system scenario, so that they would be able to introduce any action that would be against the JCPOA as a move that is in compliance with America’s domestic law!
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has been promoting this scenario for quite some time. Mattis, too, openly referred to it in a Congress hearing session.
Now, all the team has to do is to persuade Trump to advance that policy, which requires patience and calm.