How easy we forget. On November 19, 2015, the State Department sent a letter to then-Representative Mike Pompeo that severely undercuts the notion that the Iran deal represents any form of binding American commitment. It turns out that the Obama administration not only acknowledged that the deal wasn’t a treaty (obvious enough), but it also admitted that it wasn’t “an executive agreement” or even a “signed document.” Here are the key paragraphs:
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document. The JCPOA reflects political commitments between Iran, the P5+1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China), and the European Union. As you know, the United States has a long-standing practice of addressing sensitive problems in negotiations that culminate in political commitments.
The success of the JCPOA will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures we have put in place, as well as Iran’s understanding that we have the capacity to re-impose — and ramp up — our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments.
You can read the entire letter here.
The Iran deal was no sacred American commitment. This was the action of one administration, working with allies and other nations who were fully aware of American domestic skepticism and fully aware of the nature of the “political commitment” they were making.
As our Joel Gehrke reported in 2015, “President Obama didn’t require Iranian leaders to sign the nuclear deal.” In short, there was nothing truly binding about this deal. From its inception it existed only so long it was politically or strategically expedient for the relevant parties. The only thing truly concrete that came out of the JCPOA was the substantial financial benefit to the world’s most dangerous jihadist state.
Read the rest at: JCPOA was Illegal