Bloomberg’s editors tell European governments to give up on the JCPOA:
In the three months since U.S. President Donald Trump unwisely abrogated the nuclear deal with Iran, Europe’s leaders have been vowing to keep it alive. They must now face what is already clear to business leaders everywhere: The agreement cannot be revived. The sooner work begins on a new one, the better for everyone involved.
European efforts to keep the nuclear deal alive may not succeed because of U.S. sanctions, but it is even more ridiculous to talk about negotiating a new agreement if European governments cave in to the Trump administration’s pressure campaign. Iran has no incentive to negotiate anything with the U.S., and if Europe yields to U.S. pressure then the Europeans will have proven that they can’t be relied on to honor their agreements, either. Iran’s government has said that Europe has to show they are willing to pay a price to back up their commitments. If European governments want to be and be seen as something other than U.S. lackeys, they need to do just that.
The editorial outlines what the new agreement should look like:
The outlines of such a deal are clear enough: It must extend the period in which Iran is prohibited from developing nuclear weapons, allow for more rigorous inspection of nuclear sites, restrict Iran’s missile-development program, and restrain its other disruptive and deadly activities in its neighborhood.
The first item on this list creates the impression that Iran is not already prohibited from developing nuclear weapons in perpetuity. Iran is bound as a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty not to develop nuclear weapons, and if Iran stays in the nuclear deal long enough to ratify the Additional Protocol it will be practically impossible for them to do so. Iran isn’t going to agree to extending other restrictions on its nuclear program for a longer period of time than it already has, and it doesn’t need to. The other demands are non-starters for Iran, and everyone already knows that.
If the JCPOA falls apart, there will be nothing to replace it. There should be no illusions that a “new” or “better” deal is available. Once this agreement collapses, Iran would have no reason to trust any Western government to keep its word. To prevent that collapse from happening, all of the other parties to the agreement have to continue to support it until there is a new administration that will reverse Trump’s irrational, destructive decision to renege on the deal.