In a move widely praised by Heritage Foundation policy analysts, President Donald Trump has reinstated sanctions against the Iranian regime for their failure to comply with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal.
Trump reimposed the sanctions in order to extend an arms embargo on Iran scheduled to expire in October—in defiance of European nations, Russia, and China.
Under the terms of the deal, the United States has the right to reimpose, or "snapback," all sanctions if Iran failed to comply with the agreement. In the view of both Trump and Heritage experts, Iran had completely reneged on its end of the bargain. Heritage analysts have repeatedly made the case that the Iranian government was never interested in following the terms of the deal, even from the very beginning.
“Under the Iran deal, [Iran] was supposed to transparently report on details of its nuclear program and allow monitoring, verification and inspection. It never did,” wrote James Carafano on FoxNews.com. Caranfao serves as vice president of Heritage’s Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy and E.W. Richardson Fellow.
Carafano added: “On top of all of this, Iran cheated on the deal openly over the past year, including surpassing the allowed stockpiles of enriched uranium and exceeding limits on enrichment on the limits of uranium. These are not just technical violations. They are the kind of deal breakers that advance Iran’s ability to eventually build a nuclear bomb.”
Additionally, in an article for The Daily Signal from August 2020, Heritage policy analysts James Carafano, James Phillips, and Brett Schaefer argued that “Iran never intended to abide by the agreement. Iran’s nuclear archive, a huge trove of official Iranian documents exposed in a major 2018 coup by Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, proved that Iran never declared the full extent of its nuclear weapons program and never abandoned it. The Islamist regime merely restructured, downsized, and concealed the nuclear program.”
“It’s clear that the JCPOA did nothing to curtail Iran’s support for terrorist groups or efforts to destabilize the region and extend Iran’s influence,” Schaefer said. “These actions and Iran’s deliberate violation of its obligations under the JCPOA fully justify U.S. efforts to snapback the sanctions in the Security Council.”
Carafano added: “Opposition to the American proposal for extending the arms embargo and triggering snapback sanctions is opposed by our European allies including the UK, Germany, and France who are concerned that Iran will leave the deal and restart its nuclear weapons program. The problem with their position is Iran never stopped its program and cheated on the deal from day one. Continuing the status quo would only mean that Iran would be able to buy conventional arms and continue a covert weapons program.”