A Middle East and trade expert does not believe that stepping away from the Iran nuclear deal is going to get the United States where it wants to go, which is the negotiating table.
“Let’s keep in mind that this is an administration, that in taking that extreme stance that this is a horrible deal, I’m tearing it up or I’m going to tear it up, unless you agree to my demands, that strategy has failed every single time, except one minor instance, with the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement,” said Raj Bhala, the Brennesein Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas Law School, and a Senior Advisor at Dentons. “That is the only deal which the administration has successfully renegotiated and the terms that it renegotiated were rather simple and easy.”
There are several deals still out there to do, in addition to the Iran nuclear deal.
“It’s not done NAFTA, it’s not redone TPP, it’s not redone Paris,” said Bhala. “Show me how this is working. I don’t hold a lot of optimism for the United States to renegotiate this Iran deal.”
If the comments of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei can be believed, there are officials in Iran that want to work with the European partners in the agreement to allow it to continue, but the Ayatollah has said he does not trust those countries, either.
Ultimately, Bhala sees the rest of the world at work trying to find a way to keep the agreement without the U.S.
“We’ve seen that in TPP,” said Bhala. “It has not stopped the other eleven nations from finalizing TPP. Mexico became the first country to ratify TPP. It’s not stopped the other countries from moving forward on climate change mitigation efforts, including the British government with banning wipes. It’s not going to stop the rest of the world from trying to engage constructively with Iran on nuclear and economic issues.”
Bhala believes that the U.S. is marginalizing itself by choosing to back away from a deal Iran did not violate.