Trump’s pulling out of the Iran Deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has drawn criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike. However, the most influential voice of disapproval has come from the man who forged the deal three years ago: Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.
Obama released a 12-paragraph statement denouncing the Trump administrations’ actions, that being the reimposition of sanctions on Iran despite no clear evidence of nuclear activity.
“We all know the dangers of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon,” wrote Obama, who spent 18 months negotiating the agreement in 2014 and 2015. “If the constraints on Iran’s nuclear program under the JCPOA are lost, we could be hastening the day when we are faced with the choice between living with that threat or going to war to prevent it.”
“The reality is clear,” he wrote. “The JCPOA is working — that is a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of Defense.”
The former president has remained silent on Trump’s actions in the White House, much of which has directly countered the policies and values of the Obama administration. In breaking his silence, Obama inspired others from his cabinet to speak out as well.
Former vice president Joe Biden released a statement shortly after Obama’s, echoing his thoughts and concerns on the effect this may have on regional and international stability.
“President Trump has manufactured a crisis for his own political interests that puts us on a collision course not only with an adversary but also with our closest partners,” Biden said in a statement. “It will allow Iran to garner international sympathy while doing nothing to reduce its harmful activities across the Middle East.”
Former Secretary of State John Kerry also released a statement on Trump’s actions. Kerry was highly involved in negotiations with the other members of the United Nations that were a part of the deal.
“Today’s announcement weakens our security, breaks America’s word, isolates us from our European allies, puts Israel at greater risk, empowers Iran’s hardliners, and reduces our global leverage to address Tehran’s misbehavior while damaging the ability of future Administrations to make international agreements,” Kerry said.
Iran is planning on renegotiating with the other consignatories of the deal, which include U.N. members China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and the EU. Kerry hopes for the other members of the agreement to preserve the deal to maintain stability in the region and between all nations involved.
“The extent of the damage will depend on what Europe can do to hold the nuclear agreement together, and it will depend on Iran’s reaction. … We should all hope the world can preserve the nuclear agreement,” he added.