President Trump's decision to walk away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a mistake, former US President Barack Obama said, asserting that the deal negotiated by his administration had worked in rolling back Iran's nuclear program.
"I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake," Obama stated.
Nuclear deal a signature foreign policy accomplishment of Obama
Obama's statement comes after US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal and signed an executive order imposing new sanctions on Iran.
The deal was a signature foreign policy accomplishment of the Obama administration.
Obama said without the JCPOA, the US could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East.
Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon can embolden dangerous regime: Obama
Noting that all are aware of the dangers of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon, Obama said it could embolden an already dangerous regime, threaten friends with destruction, pose unacceptable dangers to America's own security, and trigger an arms race in the world's most dangerous region.
America must be able to secure its country
"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," said the former US president.
In a dangerous world, Obama said, America must be able to rely in part on strong, principled diplomacy to secure its country.
US was safer in the years since it achieved JCPOA
"We've been safer in the years since we achieved the JCPOA, thanks in part to the work of our diplomats, Congress members, and our allies," said Obama.
"Going forward, I hope that Americans continue to speak out in support of the kind of strong, principled, fact-based, and unifying leadership that can best secure our country and uphold our responsibilities around the globe," he said.
Withdrawing from JCPOA turns our back on America's closest allies
Obama said, "Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America's closest allies and an agreement that our country's leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated."
United States negotiated the JCPOA for its security
In probably his first statement on foreign policy after he left the White House last year, Obama said there were few issues more important to the security of the US than the potential spread of nuclear weapons or the potential for an even more destructive war in the Middle East.
That's why the United States negotiated the JCPOA in the first place, he said.
JCPOA is in America's interest
"The reality is clear. The JCPOA is working that is a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current US secretary of defense," Obama said. The JCPOA is in America's interest it has significantly rolled back Iran's nuclear program, he added.
JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy can accomplish
"JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy can accomplish; its inspections and verification regime is precisely what the US should be working to put in place with North Korea," Obama said.
"When we're all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes with Iran the very outcome that we're pursuing with North-Koreans," he added.
Consistent flouting of agreements puts the country at odds: Obama
"There will always be changes in policies and priorities from one administration to the next. But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America's credibility, and puts us at odds with the world's major powers," Obama said.