European allies of the United States were upset when the Trump administration pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in early May. In response, Senator Lindsey Graham said on Sunday that they need to understand the agreement was poorly done.
“Here’s what I say to our European allies: This deal you made was terrible in the eyes of everybody in the region. The closer you are to Iran, the worse the deal is,” said Graham. He argued for giving them nuclear power capability without capabilities to create a nuclear weapon, thus avoiding a nuclear arms race in the region.
Flaws in JCPOA Cite Critics
Critics of the agreement also argued that Iran’s funds were used to increase its influence in the Middle East, which destabilized the region even further. Various neighbors of Iran have expressed concern about its increasing reach, particularly Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen also released information demonstrating Iran’s influence on the Houthi rebels, such as Iranian weapons. Economics in Iran have also not improved since the JCPOA was put in place, as corruption runs rampant and protests increase.
Graham, who is a member of the U.S. Armed Services Committee, indicated that he would be open to approving an agreement that gave nuclear power options to Iran and other Arab nations the ability to create nuclear power without the capability to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon.
“If they want an enrichment capability unlimited in nature, the answer is no,” said Graham.
Trump Administration Questioned Viability of Agreement
The 2015 agreement was meant to put Iran’s nuclear program on hold, while releasing various economic sanctions on Iran and the release of funds that had been previously frozen in exchange for their cooperation. Critics of the agreement argue that it did not go far enough, since it did not address their ballistic missile program or the human rights violations and abuses rampant throughout the country.
U.S. President Trump cited multiple reasons for pulling out of the agreement, including the fact that there was no language in the agreement to commit Iran to not provoking their neighbors militarily or to address the ballistic missiles program, which has been addressed in several UN resolutions that are being ignored by Iran’s regime. He also questioned the fact that the regime had been brought to the bargaining table by economic sanctions, yet no mention was made of other issues regarding the regime, including its executions on flimsy or non-existent evidence.