Can The Iran Nuclear Deal Survive Donald Trump?

This post was originally published at the New Atlanticist.

Donald Trump's election as the next president of the United States has created uncertainty for future of the nuclear deal with Iran. On the campaign trail, Trump made no secret of his opposition to the deal--formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). However, even if Trump's administration retards the implementation of the JCPOA, the United States probably cannot single-handedly unravel it.

The JCPOA is not a bilateral agreement. It is between the United States and six other governments, none of which oppose the nuclear deal, which Trump has called "the worst deal ever." Of course, as president, he will have to work with Russia, China, and Washington's European allies, none of which are likely to withdraw from the JCPOA. The foreign policy establishment in Washington, too, overwhelmingly favors the deal.

Assuming Tehran continues to comply with the terms of the JCPOA, no one expects Russia, China, or the Europeans to re-impose nuclear sanctions on Iran. Of course, with a Republican-controlled House and Senate next year, Trump may well appoint a hawkish anti-Iran secretary of state and have an easy time signing legislation to slow down the implementation of the deal, or imposing new sanctions for missile tests, terrorism, or human rights abuses. But in an increasingly multipolar world that long ago stopped marching to Washington's tune, America can no longer shove policy prescriptions down other nations' throats. Although Trump and some of his Republican allies may believe that isolating the Islamic Republic serves US interests, Washington would undoubtedly find itself isolated given how many major countries want to further unfreeze their economic ties with Iran. Click here to continue reading

*Giorgio Cafiero is the CEO of Gulf State Analytics (@GulfStateAnalyt), a Washington, DC-based geopolitical risk consultancy.

*Daniel Wagner is Managing Director of Risk Solutions at Risk Cooperative, a Washington, D.C.-based specialty strategy, risk and capital management firm.

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