No Deal Remains Better Than a Bad Deal: Risks of a JCPOA Return

The Biden administration seeks to rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement in order to pursue a better follow-on deal, avert a looming nuclear crisis and stave off major Middle East conflict. As a new report from JINSA’s Iran Policy Project spells out, reentering the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will have the exact opposite effects.

Because the United States would lose most of its negotiating leverage through sanctions relief, rejoining the nuclear deal will make the White House’s stated goal of securing a “longer, stronger” successor agreement all but impossible. Nor would it block Tehran’s path to nuclear weapons capability, since the terms of the deal enable Iran to steadily ramp up its nuclear program over the next decade, to the point where it would no longer face any meaningful hurdles to achieving nuclear weapons capability. And as happened when the JCPOA was first implemented in 2015-16, rejoining the agreement would exacerbate, not mitigate, Middle East instability and conflict, likely drawing the United States more deeply back into the region.

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.

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