Newspapers in Tehran on May 9, 2018 headline the US' withdrawal from the nuclear deal ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

Counting the Costs of Trump’s Iran Policy

Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal is likely to make addressing that country’s nuclear development more difficult. More broadly, it threatens to rob the world of a new and innovative approach to global governance and multilateral diplomacy at a time when such approaches are badly needed.

MADRID – With President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will begin reimposing sanctions against Iran, the short, strange life of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – has entered a new and dangerous phase.

Trump believes that, by withdrawing from the JCPOA, he can pressure Iran to agree to a new, more comprehensive deal that would cover not just the country’s nuclear program, but also its ballistic missile tests, provocative regional behavior, and human-rights violations. But, as America’s partners and allies have noted, this is a highly risky gambit – one that contradicts the underlying logic of the deal.

The decision to withdraw from the JCPOA, despite Iranian compliance with all of its provisions, is likely to make addressing Iran’s nuclear program more difficult, not least because it will strengthen the position of the country’s hardliners. More broadly, it threatens to rob the world of a new and innovative approach to global governance and multilateral diplomacy at a time when such approaches are badly needed.

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