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Trump's Iran Deal Options

Why Renegotiation Is Better Than Repudiation

Donald Trump after addressing a Tea Party rally against the Iran nuclear deal in Washington, D.C., September 2015.  Jonathan Ernst / REUTERS

As U.S. President Donald Trump takes over the presidency, there is deep uncertainty about the prospects of his predecessor’s key foreign policy achievement: the nuclear deal with Iran. During the campaign, Trump variously pledged “to dismantle the disastrous deal” and to “force the Iranians back to the bargaining table to make a much better deal.” The first option would be calamitous, but the second is worth considering more carefully. 

It is important to note that, so far, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—cosigned by Iran and the United States alongside China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom—has delivered what it was supposed to: in return for tangible economic dividends, Tehran cannot produce nuclear weapons without detection. Indeed, that is why many in Israel’s military and security establishment favor its preservation. Most Israeli security officials and diplomats whom my colleagues in Jerusalem interviewed last

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