The Iranian regime is known for its continued oppression of human rights and even the basic freedom of speech and artistic expression. Yet, the international community, instead of condemning the actions of the regime and standing strong against them, have continued to negotiate in good faith. Their hope seems to be that by working with the regime,they can promote real change for the Iranian people.

However, this is not what has happened.

Instead, the regime has taken advantage of these concessions to push even further into the hotspots of the region. One such example is the nation of Syria, where civil war has continued to engulf the country, as rebels fight against Assad’s government. Iran has claimed territory within Syria, as its militias continue to take control of areas that allow Iran to have access to the Mediterranean.

The JCPOA, which was the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, was billed as a way to give a little to Iran in exchange for the security that they would not develop a nuclear weapon. Instead, this deal reduced sanctions and Iran was able to limit the access of inspectors to its military sites, where there are real concerns that their nuclear ambitions are being pursued.

Heshmat Alavi, a prominent human rights activist and expert on Iran, wrote an op-ed for The Federalist in which he points out that not only has the nuclear deal failed but we should never have expected anything else, because as the regime has shown time and time again, they will never change their behavior through diplomacy.

“Some argue the JCPOA has successfully slowed Iran’s dangerous drive to obtain nuclear weapons…Yet with limited restrictions imposed on Tehran’s overall nuclear program, international inspectors are not enjoying the access they should to Iran’s controversial facilities. The Obama administration made many promises about the nuclear deal, which we have yet to see materialize. This includes “anytime, anywhere” inspections that have now morphed into a complicated process of practically requesting permission from Iran,” said Alavi.

There are many ways to deal with the Iranian Regime aside from the nuclear agreement. In his piece, Alavai highlights three important ones:

  • Making international companies reluctant to invest by leaving its position on the deal open to interpretation.
  • Impose new non-nuclear sanctions on Iran for ballistic missile advances, supporting terrorism, meddling in states across the Middle East, and domestic human rights violations, just to name a few.
  • Seeking the support of U.S. allies in Europe to reimpose nuclear sanctions based on Iran’s breach of the deal.

These are just a few of the realities that the international community must address. Iran’s history of dealing with other countries has shown that the regime is likely to renege on any deal, using loopholes to make their actions appear legal, while ignoring the fact that they are not being accountable for their actions. The international community has condoned this history by continuing to deal with Iran in the same way, giving concessions without receiving anything in return.

A senior fellow at the National Review Institute wrote an op-ed for National Review, advising Donald Trump to decertify the Iranian nuclear deal and walk away from the pact altogether. Andrew C. McCarthy wrote that Iran has not been compliant with the nuclear deal for even a moment and that the U.S. must stand strong to support human rights and oppose terrorism. Throughout President Trump’s campaign, he continued to express his outrage at the JCPOA, calling the deal an embarrassment. As president, it is clear that he is looking for a way to extradite the US out of the deal.

“Yet, under the statute that calls for presidential findings every 90 days, the president, in recertifying, represented to Congress and the American people (a) that Iran is transparently, verifiably, and fully implementing the agreement and (b) that continuing the JCPOA is vital to the national security interests of the United States. These assertions insult the intelligence,” said McCarthy. “If the president wants to negotiate, let it be on a new deal and on America’s terms — which, you may remember, are that Iran does not get nuclear weapons, must honour its obligations on weapons development and proliferation, and must cease promoting terrorism. No other deal is worth having.”

Instead, President Trump needs to lead the international community in its efforts to contain Iran’s meddling within the region. One way is to focus on restricting Iran’s ability to sell its oil and gas. Doing so, the international community can use economic pressure to bring Iran’s regime into line. If not, it can facilitate the beginning of a change of regime.

originally published on the  eureporter


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