Former President Barack Obama addressed President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal in a lengthy statement on Tuesday.
“There are few issues more important to the security of the United States than the potential spread of nuclear weapons, or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East,” Obama said. “That’s why the United States negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the first place.”
The former president pointed to analysis from the international community, as well as Secretary of Defense James Mattis, to argue that the deal is working as designed:
The reality is clear. The JCPOA is working — that is a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of Defense. The JCPOA is in America’s interest — it has significantly rolled back Iran’s nuclear program. And the JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy can accomplish — its inspections and verification regime is precisely what the United States should be working to put in place with North Korea. Indeed, at a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes — with Iran — the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans.
Obama called the decision “misguided” and said that the “consistent flouting of agreements” entered into by his administration could erode international trust in the United States.
In a lengthy explanation, Obama laid out six key points he says support the continuation of the deal, including Iranian compliance and strict monitoring included in the plan.
“Because of these facts, I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake,” he said. “Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East. […]
“We have been safer in the years since we achieved the JCPOA, thanks in part to the work of our diplomats, many members of Congress, and our allies,” Obama concluded. “Going forward, I hope that Americans continue to speak out in support of the kind of strong, principled, fact-based, and unifying leadership that can best secure our country and uphold our responsibilities around the globe.”