This week representatives from Iran and other global powers who were party to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are gathering in Vienna to work to restore the pact.
We applaud a return to diplomacy to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This deal is the gold standard of arms control agreements. The world was made safer by preventing a nuclear-armed Iran and reducing the threat of a disastrous war.
It’s time to reseal the deal! Here’s why:
After Abandoning the Deal, the U.S. Must Lead
Former President Donald Trump was wrong to leave the nuclear deal. Period.
Now, it’s critical that the United States break out of this endless cycle of hostile confrontation with Iran and embark on a new diplomatic path to address Iran’s nuclear program and regional conflicts.
It’s Time to Ratchet Down Tensions to Prevent Armed Conflict
U.S. diplomacy is vital for deescalating tensions in the Middle East and preventing armed conflict with Iran. The true cost of war is always shouldered by the poorest and most vulnerable populations and threats of “limited strikes” could quickly escalate.
A Chance to Prevent a Nuclear-Armed Iran Must be Taken Seriously
Since former President Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal, our two countries have come disturbingly close to the brink of war. Iran’s “breakout time” to build nuclear weapons has been shortened.
President Joe Biden and Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley must press for a return to the deal as soon as possible, to regain meaningful limits on Iran’s nuclear program.
An Opportunity to Build Trust, Reduce Civilian Harm, and Restore Stability
Iranian civilians have suffered needlessly under maximum pressure U.S. sanctions. The United States should build trust by offering to help Iran fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Reducing the humanitarian impact that sanctions have caused could help overcome the current stalemate, de-escalate nuclear tensions, create space for further diplomacy, and lessen the chances of a military confrontation.
The JCPOA also provides a platform for further diplomacy between Iran and the United States, to address the full range of areas of disagreement.
The JCPOA was always meant to be a starting point. While there are many issues that should be resolved diplomatically between the United States, Iran, and other governments in the region, a full return to the nuclear deal could serve as a foundation for future negotiations.