Leaving the JCPOA Behind: Principles for Preventing a Nuclear Iran

Regardless of the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, it appears likely the winner will attempt renewed diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear weapons program, either by trying to reenter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or pursuing a new agreement.

As JINSA has argued for years, the JCPOA is so fundamentally flawed as to be unacceptable to the United States, thus making any return to it untenable. Sitting down at the negotiating table with Iran, however, is not yet an option either. Tehran’s stated price for talks, when it says it’s willing to do so at all, is upfront removal of robust U.S. sanctions that currently form the bedrock of American leverage. Instead, the United States needs to bolster strong existing sanctions enforcement with credible preparations for military options, in order to negotiate and enforce an acceptable nuclear agreement that remedies critical JCPOA flaws.

This new report from JINSA’s Iran Policy Project lays out detailed recommendations for how American diplomats can negotiate with Tehran from a position of strength, pursue an agreement that verifiably ensures Iran’s nuclear program becomes inherently peaceful and prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability if diplomacy fails.

Click here to read the report.

Iran Policy Project Co-Chairmen

Ambassador Eric Edelman
Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

General Charles Wald, USAF (ret.)
Former Deputy Commander of United States European Command

Iran Policy Project Members

VADM John Bird, USN (ret.)
Former Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet

General James Conway, USMC (ret.)
Former Commandant of the Marine Corps

Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (ret.)
Former Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, U.S. Air Force Headquarters

Larry Goldstein
Founder and Director of Energy Policy Research Foundation, Inc.

John Hannah
Senior Counselor, FDD; Former Assistant for National Security Affairs to the Vice President

Lt Gen Henry Obering, USAF (ret.)
Former Director of the Missile Defense Agency

Steve Rademaker
Former Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control and Nonproliferation

Maj Gen Lawrence Stutzriem, USAF (ret.)
Former Director, Plans, Policy and Strategy at North American Aerospace Defense Command

Ray Takeyh
Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Roger Zakheim
Former General Counsel and Deputy Staff Director of U.S. House Armed Services Committee