The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council welcomes US President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, with the hope that this decision signals the beginning of a new era of negotiations and sustained diplomatic efforts to put into place new and better arrangements to thwart Iran’s dangerous nuclear ambitions.
President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and re-impose nuclear sanctions on Iran, was not a surprise and had been anticipated for some time.
President Trump rightly pointed out in announcing his country’s withdrawal, “The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for very weak limits on the regime’s nuclear activity, and no limits at all on its other malign behavior, including its sinister activities in Syria, Yemen, and other places all around the world.”
AIJAC believes the JCPOA was deeply flawed in numerous ways – its inspection regime was very inadequate, particularly with respect to so-called military sites; it did not address Iran’s ongoing ballistic missile research, a key component of any nuclear weapons program; and it actually apparently helped fuel Iran’s increasing support for terrorism, efforts to destabilise its neighbours and bloody proxy wars.
Most importantly, the JCPOA merely delayed but did not dismantle Iran’s nuclear program. It allows Iran to continue working on advanced centrifuges which will allow it to enrich uranium very quickly once the JCPOA’s “sunset clauses” on enrichment activity expire in a few years – meaning at that point a nuclear breakout can happen whenever Teheran wishes, with little chance it can be detected in time by inspectors.
In his remarks, President Trump also expressed quite clearly that US withdrawal from the JCPOA should by no means be construed as an invitation for military confrontation or escalation with Iran but rather serve as an impetus for a renegotiated pact that would fix the fatal flaws of the JCPOA. Such a restructured deal, he stressed, would benefit “all of Iran and the Iranian people.”
We urge all governments, including Australia’s, to support efforts to seize this new opportunity to put in new and more comprehensive arrangements with much stricter, verifiable compliance conditions. These should include not only removal of the nuclear sunset clauses and giving inspectors unfettered entry rights to military and other currently inaccessible sites, but also prohibitions on Iran developing long and short-range ballistic missiles, and seriously addressing the ongoing aggression and threats emanating from Iran, affecting all its regional neighbours including Israel.
Mark Leibler AC, National Chairman
Dr. Colin Rubenstein AM, Executive Director
For additional information, contact AIJAC on (03)-9681-6660