The Iran Deal, appeased into existence by Obama and Kerry, is a terrible deal for the United States. It does not prevent Iran from gaining nukes, supposedly its main purpose. Even Minority Leader Schumer voted against it.
Yet I am against the United States’ simply walking out on it at this point. Even though Congress never signed it—it was purely a presidential agreement, something Trump can abrogate with the stroke of his pen—it has the weight of international law and is recognized as such by most of the world. Our walking out on it would send a really bad message about our respect for the international order, an order largely created and maintained by the United States, an order that is in our interest to maintain.
But even if we could walk out of this terrible deal unscathed by international criticism, I would still be against doing so at this point. The Iranians are no fools. They front-loaded the agreement so heavily in their favor that they’ve already received most of their benefits, such as 150 billion dollars in what were Iranian frozen assets and the removal of crippling economic sanctions. If we were to walk away now, we, unlike Iran, would have gained nothing at all from the agreement. Given that we’ve already paid, we should milk whatever benefits there are in the agreement for all they are worth, few as they may be.
Apart from such milking, we must continue to move forward. We must begin work on a new round of agreements with Iran that fully and completely prevent them from gaining nukes, something the Iran Deal, as already mentioned, does not do. (Of course, how the current North Korea situation ends may influence the Iranians to see things our way, especially if we end up reducing the Hermit Kingdom into a burning archipelago of radioactive ash). We must be certain that after the Iran Deal ends (and before), ten years from its signing, Iran does not succeed to become a nuclear power.
That the United States signed the Iran Deal does not prevent Trump from working toward this goal. The current situation in North Korea is a stark example of the results of appeasement. The world has always wondered what would happen if terrorists were to get their hands on nukes. With North Korea in mind, now we know.