ODU Expert: U.S. Shouldn't Scuttle Iran Nuclear Treaty
November 03, 2017
By Jon Cawley
President Donald Trump's condemnation late last month of Iran, as well as a threat to decertify a nuclear treaty negotiated under the Obama administration, may have come as a surprise to many Americans, although the country has long been a thorn in the United States' side.
The news came even as world leaders and the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran is in compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Iranian officials have responded to Trump's controversial statements with hostile rebukes that have stirred animosity between the two nations.
The question remains, however, whether the war of words could potentially spill into something with more dire consequences.
Steve Yetiv, Old Dominion's Louis I. Jaffe Professor of International Relations, has been a consultant to the U.S. departments of state and defense as well as other federal agencies and international media outlets.
He said the Iran nuclear accord is "certainly flawed," but the United States should not back out of it because American allies have no appetite to renegotiate the treaty.
"Iran's mullahs will gain leverage over Iranian moderates by painting the United States as uncooperative; and Iran will be more free to proliferate," he said. "Whatever one thinks of the nuclear accord, scrapping it will probably make conflict with Iran more likely. The Trump administration will need to have a very good strategy for managing such conflict."
Instead of leaving the accord, Yetiv suggested the United States, working with its allies, should do more to contain Iran in the Middle East in areas not covered by the nuclear treaty.
Yetiv, whose forthcoming book "Challenged Hegemony," which was co-written with Katerina Oskarsson, deals with the impacts of the United States, China and Russia in the Persian Gulf. It will be published by Stanford University Press in January 2018. The book, is described by the Stanford University Press as providing "a panoramic study of hegemony and foreign powers in the Persian Gulf, offering the most comprehensive, data-driven portrait to date of their evolving relations."