President Trump has indicated that he may withhold certification of Iranian compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal.
Yet the International Atomic Energy Agency, along with America’s European allies, Russia, and China are all in consensus that Iran is in fact complying with its obligations under the agreement. If President Trump chooses not to certify Iranian compliance on October 15, he will initiate a process likely to unravel the JCPOA and relinquish the most intrusive nuclear inspections program in the world.
All of Washington’s policy options outside the JCPOA—including reimposing economic sanctions, challenging Iranian influence in the Middle East, supporting opposition groups in hopes of regime change, and outright military action—involve serious costs and risks greater than the status quo.
Watch a discussion of the available options, their relative strengths and weaknesses, and the potential consequences of abandoning the Iran nuclear deal.