By Jacob L. Shapiro
On May 8, U.S. President Donald Trump will reveal his decision on whether to extend a waiver on sanctions against foreign financial institutions that have had transactions with the Central Bank of Iran. Refusal to do so would effectively terminate the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. If he chooses this step, which would go into effect on May 12, the result in the short term will be strained U.S. relations with key allies in Europe and Asia, further deterioration of U.S.-Iran relations and higher oil prices. The most important consequence, however, will be the intense domestic pressure it will put on the Rouhani administration, for which nothing less than survival is at stake.
First Things First
The U.S. initially pursued the JCPOA because stopping Iran’s nuclear program by force would have been costly, if not impossible. Two things happened that made a diplomatic solution not just preferable but possible. Fi