President Trump announced today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—“JCPOA”). Here are talking points sent out by the White House.
President Trump is terminating United States participation in the JCPOA, as it failed to protect America’s national security interests.
· The JCPOA enriched the Iranian regime and enabled its malign behavior, while at best delaying its ability to pursue nuclear weapons and allowing it to preserve nuclear research and development.
· The President has directed his Administration to immediately begin the process of re-imposing sanctions related to the JCPOA.
· The re-imposed sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran’s economy, such as its energy, petrochemical, and financial sectors.
. Those doing business in Iran will be provided a period of time to allow them to wind down operations in or business involving Iran.
· Those who fail to wind down such activities with Iran by the end of the period will risk severe consequences.
· United States withdrawal from the JCPOA will pressure the Iranian regime to alter its course of malign activities and ensure that Iranian bad acts are no longer rewarded. As a result, both Iran and its regional proxies will be put on notice. As importantly, this step will help ensure global funds stop flowing towards illicit terrorist and nuclear activities.
Iran negotiated the JCPOA in bad faith, and the deal gave the Iranian regime too much in exchange for too little.
· Intelligence recently released by Israel provides compelling details about Iran’s past secret efforts to develop nuclear weapons, which it lied about for years.
. The intelligence further demonstrates that the Iranian regime did not come clean about its nuclear weapons activity, and that it entered the JCPOA in bad faith.
· The JCPOA failed to deal with the threat of Iran’s missile program and did not include a strong enough mechanism for inspections and verification.
· The JCPOA foolishly gave the Iranian regime a windfall of cash and access to the international financial system for trade and investment.
. Instead of using the money from the JCPOA to support the Iranian people at home, the regime has instead funded a military buildup and continues to fund its terrorist proxies, such as Hizballah and Hamas.
. Iran violated the laws and regulations of European countries to counterfeit the currency of its neighbor, Yemen, to support the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force’s destabilizing activities.
President Trump will work to assemble a broad coalition of nations to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon and to counter the totality of the regime’s malign activities.
· Nations must work together to halt the Iranian regime’s destabilizing drive for regional hegemony.
. In Syria, the Iranian regime supports the Assad regime and is complicit in Assad’s atrocities against the Syrian people.
. In Yemen, the regime has escalated the conflict and used the Houthis as a proxy to attack other nations.
. In Iraq, Iran’s IRGC sponsors Shia militant groups and terrorists.
. In Lebanon, the Iranian regime enables Hizballah to play a highly destabilizing role and to build an arsenal of weapons that threatens the region.
· The Administration’s actions are directed against the malign behavior of the Iranian regime, not against the Iranian people, who are the regime’s longest-suffering victims.
President Trump is making clear that, in addition to never developing a nuclear weapon, the Iranian regime must:
· Never have an ICBM, cease developing any nuclear-capable missiles, and stop proliferating ballistic missiles to others.
· Cease its support for terrorists, extremists, and regional proxies, such as Hizballah, Hamas, the Taliban, and al-Qa’ida.
· End its publicly declared quest to destroy Israel.
· Stop its threats to freedom of navigation, especially in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.
· Cease escalating the Yemen conflict and destabilizing the region by proliferating weapons to the Houthis.
· End its cyber-attacks against the United States and our allies, including Israel.
· Stop its grievous human rights abuses, shown most recently in the regime’s crackdown against widespread protests by Iranian citizens.
· Stop its unjust detention of foreigners, including United States citizens.
We will have plenty more to say about President Trump’s decision, I’m sure. But I wanted to give the first word to the White House, especially because its points will be largely ignored in mainstream media coverage of the decision.