The President of U.S. on October 13, 2017 refused tocertify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) under the 2015 IranNuclear Agreement Review Act because this agreement is not in the national securityinterest of the United States.A National Security Council meeting has been scheduledfor 12.

12.2017 to discuss the status of the Iran nuclear agreement and itsconsequences. A statement made by the U.S. Representative Peter J.

Roskam (R-IL) outlines the U.S. policy over Iran as follows:”Iran … must be permanently prevented fromdeveloping a nuclear weapon.  Under itscurrent terms, the Iran nuclear deal … fails to achieve this goal. The JCPOA onlydelays Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon …The current accord not onlyfails to address Iran’s support for terrorism, advancing ballistic missileprogram, and other illicit activity, but awards Iran’s most hostile actors likethe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps .

..Remaining part of the nuclearaccord in its current form is not in the U.S. national security interest..

.Anuclear-armed Iran would pose an existential threat to our nation…1 With respect to nuclear weapons proliferation, Iran is a legitimateconcern of the United States. The U.S.

policy on Iran calls to take all measuresto prevent Iran permanently from developing a nuclear weapon, because of Iran’sexpanding power and influence across the Middle East and being the Israel’sgreatest existential threat. 2. BACKGROUND / NATIONAL INTERESTS:  Iran has presented a security challenge for the U.S.

andits allies since 1979 when Iran’s Islamic revolution ended Western involvementin the country’s nuclear program. Iran is arguably one of the most significantnational security threat to the U.S.

and its allies as it seeks to maintain itsIslamic regime and enhance its military deterrent in the region towarddeveloping intercontinental missiles and/or nuclear weapons. The worldwide concern over Iran’s nuclear program hasincreased after the US president Trump decision to decertify the Iran nuclearagreement unless it was amended to permanently blockIran from building nuclear weapons or intercontinental missiles. Contrary, Iran’sSupreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has denied that Iran is following a nuclear programand says weapons of mass destruction are forbidden under Islam. The UN Security Council has passed sevenresolutionsii adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Chart, calling forIran to suspend its uranium enrichment and comply with its IAEA obligations andresponsibilities. Today only one resolution is in effect, when in July 2015Iran and the five permanent SC members, plus Germany (P5+1) signed the agreementiii under which Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program in exchangefor sanctions relief. However, the UN resolution 2231, maintain somerestrictions on ballistic missile activities.

 The 2015 agreement restricted Iran’s nuclear relatedactivities for 10 to 15 years. After this period expires, the deal will need tobe renegotiated or Iran could theoretically restart its nuclear weaponsprogram. On the other side Israel has argued that the nuclear issue cannot be chosenunder this agreement.

iv  The United States and the EU have lifted nuclear-relatedsanctions on Iran, because the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) hasverified that Iran has implemented its key nuclear-related measures describedin the JCPOA, and the Secretary of State has confirmed the IAEA’s verification.v While a comprehensive Iranian policy review is currentlyunderway, it is essential to recognize that currently Iran does not possess anuclear weapons program. However, disturbingly, some evidence suggests that theNorth Korea’s progress in developing a nuclear weapon may have actuallyaccelerated Iran’s nuclear program, as its latest launches has shown increasedmissile Belowis a brief history of the main Iranian Nuclear Issue from 2009-2017vii: February2009 -The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) reports that Iranianscientists have reached nuclear weapons breakout capability.

Iran runs tests atits Bushehr nuclear power plant.April 2009 – The new U.S. PresidentBarack Obama, change the previous U.

S. policy towards Iran by formally invitingIran to talks again. November2011 – TheIAEA releases a report saying that Iran may be developing nuclear weapons. January2012 – TheIAEA confirms that uranium enrichment has begun at the Fordo nuclear facilityin the Qom province in northern Iran.

January2012 – TheDirector of National Intelligence, David Petraeus says there’s no evidence Iran is building a nuclear bomb.September2013 – At a speech at the UN General Assembly Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says “Nuclear weaponsand other weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran’s security anddefense doctrine, and contradict our fundamental religious and ethicalconvictions.”July2015 – A deal is reached on Iran’s nuclear program. The deal reduces thenumber of Iranian centrifuges by two-thirds, places bans on enrichment at keyfacilities, and limits uranium research and development. The UN SecurityCouncil endorses the nuclear deal.January2016 -International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has completed all the necessarysteps agreed under the nuclear deal, and that all participants can begin implementing the JointComprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).March2016 – Irantest-fires two ballistic missiles. US officials saythat the tests do not violate the nuclear agreement (JCPOA).

January2017 – Iran launches a medium-range ballistic missile, its first missile testsince Donald Tramp became US president.February2017 – Inreaction to the January missile test, the US Treasury Department start applying sanctions on 25 individuals andcompanies connected to Iran’s ballistic missile program. September2017 –In the UN General Assembly address, President Trump characterized the JointComprehensive Plan of Action as an “embarrassment” to US, contrary IranianPresident Rouhani said that “It will be a great pity if this agreementwere destroyed by rogue newcomers to the world of politics”.viiiOctober 2017 – The President refused to certify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action(JCPOA) under the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. It is believed that Iran will continue to expand itsballistic missile programs, because of the perceived threats from US militaryin the Gulf and its neighboring countries Saudi Arabia and Israel which isnuclear armed (Schindler, 2017).

 3.STRATEGY OPTIONS:1. Maintain the 2015 agreement as long as theU.S. can ensure that Iran is acting in accordance with its obligations. Eventhough the facts surrounding Iran’s Nuclear Agreement Review Act are somewhatambiguous maintaining the current agreement in order to meet all requirement foreseenon it, with ultimate goal to seek multilateral negotiations with Iran and areturn to the P5+1 -party talks about permanently abandon its ballistic missileand nuclear programs it is the most likely option. Following that, this optionwill give evidence to support the rationale that Iran is pursuing the agreementconcentrated on the U.

N. resolution, as a rules-based international order thatpromotes peace and security.Inthe near term, the U.S. must contain the Iran’s fully compliance with theagreement, than through negotiations the U.S. would offer less military pressureand reduced sanctions in exchange for a less provocative Iran in the Region. Movingforward through the negotiations process the U.

S. would seek a roll back of Iranexpansion in Middle East in exchange for a verifiable missile developmentprogram. In mean time, through strategic messaging the U.S. would convey to theIran that we are serious about fully compelling the Teheran to reduce theirmissile and/or nuclear programs through even preventative strikes. Several indicators are present to show that Iran is behaving in accordancewith the agreement. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at the U.

N. assembly lastmonth that Iran remains in “technical compliance” with the deal.ix On the other side the Defense Secretary James Mattis on the beginning ofNovember said that maintaining the Iran nuclear deal is in the U.S. nationalsecurity interest. Moreover, this is reinforced by the beliefs of the U.S.

intelligence agencies that Iran does not currently have a nuclear program and asfar as we know, Iran has not made the decision to restart a nuclear weaponprogram. However, as I will explain in the main issues raised by the 2015 nuclearagreement we {U.S. and allies} can’t confirm hundred percent that Iran isacting by the agreement, but if we can assess that Iran is fully committed thanwe should stay with it because this is in U.S interests. It makes sense thatholding the agreement that the U.S have signed, unless there’s a confirmedbreach, would not have any negative impact on Iran, but there are indicationsto the contrary, that the agreement won’t block Iran from building a nuclearweapon.  The current stance of the Iranian government is to continue the implementationof agreement and its requirements in a verifiable way.

However, maintaining the2015 agreement is not the most likely option to successfully block Iranpermanently from building nuclear weapons, but when measured against acceptablerisk it is the most suitable option that will potentially achieve eventualconditions, as outlined by the Agreement.2. Withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement and force Iran to renegotiateits terms.Onthe contrary, the fact that most authorities are in favor of maintaining the Iran’snuclear agreement, there are other voices that justify abandoning the agreementand force Iran to renegotiate its terms, due to a very little internationalcredence given to Iran’s position that they are implanting it in a verifiable andpeaceful way. After the nuclear agreement act is declared null and void,sanctions can be imposed on Iran which will force Teheran regime to stop itsdevelopment of ballistic missile capabilities, deny access to nucleartechnology and halt its growing aggression in the region.Thereare plenty of statements coupled with facts that indicate withdrawal from Iran nuclearagreement.

According toformer U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, JohnBolton, if the President decides to go away from the JCPOA, a comprehensiveplan must be prepared and executed in order to get domestic and internationalsupport. In his Iran nuclear deal exit strategy, he states that: “The JCPOA’s vague and ambiguous wording; its manifest imbalance in Iran’sdirection; Iran’s significant violations; and its continued, indeed,increasingly, unacceptable conduct at the strategic level internationallydemonstrate convincingly that the JCPOA is not in the national-securityinterests of the United States…”xThereal question is, how to explain and justify the Iran threat to the U.S. publicand allies.

With such a withdrawing, a new reality will be created and theUnited States will lost an international consensus over the Iran nuclearagreement. Richard Nephew, anexpert at Columbia University who worked onnegotiations with Iran between 2011-13, says that decertification of the JCPOArisk blocking regulations by European Union. On the other side, European Union’s leaders has issued warnings that the Iran nuclearagreement that was reached in 2015 could not be reopened for negotiation orchanged…xi Contrary, critics of the Iran nuclear agreement argues thatPresident Trump’s decision to decertify the agreement would force Europe torenegotiate its terms.Thereis a highly potential risk that if America withdrew from the agreement Iranwill push forward its existed ability before the agreement, to have nuclearweapons even faster.

However, this risk is mitigated by the threat ofpreemptive strikes from U.S. or Israel. In addition, if the United Stateswithdraws from the Iran deal, Russia and China can pursue their respective interestsand block any attempts to reinstate effective sanctions, due to their givenvetoes at Security Council —creating potential consequences in America’s international commitment. 3. Conduct military preventive attacksagainst the main nuclear sites in Iran. This “clearly military dimension” is highlyrelated with both options above. The real issue with this option is that we donot know how much Iran’s behavior will move towards its ballistic missilescapabilities and/or accelerate to nuclear weapons program.

As we know, NorthKorea is the most significant example in how Iran may and follow its pursuit ofnuclear weapons. Thus, increasing the military presence in and around theMiddle East in order to raise the pressure on the Iranian regime, willpotentially bring the Teheran back to renegotiations of the agreement.Increasing the military posture is not the most likely option to successfullybring Teheran again in the table, but when measured against acceptable risk itis the most suitable option that will potentially achieve eventual renegotiationof the 2015 terms. As a result of Iran’s unsustainablepolicy towards its ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons,the U.

S. military should remain in the Persian Gulf. The Arab and Israel feelsthreatened by Iran’s expansion policy. On this regard, I think that at thispoint of time Iran’s ballistic missiles program is aimed at the U.

S. allies,but this might change in the near future. One of the reasons might be that Iranfeels that can be attacked by the U.S. navy that is deployed in the PersianGulf.

 A series of preventive attacks launchedagainst the main nuclear sites in Iran (especially against, Arak Heavy WaterReactor, Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, Esfahan Nuclear Technology Centre, NatanzEnrichment Plant and Tehran Nuclear Research Centre) though using bunker-busterbombs would likely prevent Iran from ever coming close to build an nucleardevice during the time available. The U.S and allies significant securityconcerns over a nuclear Iran illustrate the importance of a U.

S. and/or Israelipreventive strike to destroy or set back any indication on any of the sites towardsthe Iranian nuclear program. The fundamental problem underlying thesepreventive attacks is collecting quality of intelligence about the status ofthe Iran site’s nuclear programs. The U.S.

should implement this option dependingon Iranian fully compliance and subsequent verification imposed by agreement. Thisstrategic option would be a successful end state to the U.S. military and sendsa powerful message to Iran to deny any effort to develop and adequately test ballisticmissile systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons.4.ANALYSIS AND COMPARISON OF STRATEGY OPTIONS: How Iran’s nuclear agreement affects theU.S.

interests and Allies?According to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015xii,the President shall submit semi-annual report on Iran’s nuclear program and thecompliance of Iran with the agreement during the period covered by the report. Thefollowing elements taken from the Review Act are particularly significant toidentify the adverse effects of theagreement. The President shall, at least every 90 days, determine whether thePresident is able to certify thatxiii:•Iran is fully implementing the agreement, •Iran has not committed a material breachof the agreement, •Iran has not taken any action that couldsignificantly advance its nuclear weapons program, and •suspension of sanctions against Iran isappropriate and proportionate to measures taken by Iran with respect toterminating its illicit nuclear program and vital to U.S. national securityinterests. Based on the above requirements there are three mainissues raised by the 2015 nuclear agreement which I explain hereafter.

 The agreement delay butnot prevent Iran’s nuclear weapon program. At the time of the agreement, Israel intelligenceagencies estimated that it would take Iran as little as one year to produce anuclear weapon.xiv The2015 agreement put restriction on Iran’s activities related with nuclear programfor about a decade, consequently it slows down, rather than prevents Iran todevelop a nuclear bomb. Moreover, warnings from U.S. and Israel have been issuedover the past months regarding Iran’s intention towards acquisition of anuclear weapon. The common denominator of most discussion is how long it will take beforeIran being able to get enough uranium for a nuclear weapon? Iran may conduct covert nuclear activity.

Manyanalysts argue that Iran may conduct nuclear activity at the covert site during the time frame of agreement. Most of their doubts are based on narrative that “the agreement allowsthe IAEA inspections regime to monitor declared nuclear facilities, storage facilities andsupply chains”. Furthermore, they claims that it does not provide access to restricted military sites that could be used for a covert nuclear development program. That is why theU.

S. demand that inspectors access to such sites, are rejected by Iran.The UN resolution 2231 does not apply toIran ballistic missile program.The wording ofUN resolution are unclear on ballistic missiles. It does not require Iran not to carry out tests related to ballisticmissiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, even though it calls uponrestrictions on ballistic missile related activities. Inaddition, the restrictions apply until 8 years after the JCPOA adoption day,which mean until 2023.

On this regard Iran’s missile programviolates the nature of the agreement and it is viewed as a threat toUS – Arab allies and Israel, which both areconcerned about Iran’s expanding influence in the Middle East. Furthermore, the U.S.

 has appliedseveral sanctions onIran over the program, but Tehran in turn blames on the US forgoing against the spirit of the agreement. In sum, Iran says its ballistic missiles are conventionalweapons that are not designed to carry out nuclear weapons even if they are capableof delivering them. Since Iran is not pursuing development of nuclear weapons,Tehran argues, the UN resolution does not apply to its ballisticmissile program.xvHowever, Iran’s argument won’t last long and it is going to require a strongintervention to prevent the rising of another nuclear power in one of theworld’s most unstable region.


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