Israel's well-being is a top reason for Trump to rip up the Iran deal

Israel's well-being is a top reason for Trump to rip up the Iran deal
© Greg Nash

There is no denying that the international community is focused on the May 12 deadline set by President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE to either “fix” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or pull out of the agreement all together.

France’s President and Germany’s Chancellor visited Washington, D.C. last week and strongly encouraged the U.S. to stay in the agreement. This week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israeli intelligence obtained 100,000 secret files from Tehran showing Iran’s nuclear program is alive, well, and thriving under the JCPOA.

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The news of Iran’s deception and continued efforts could be the nail in the coffin for the Iran nuclear deal. Moments before Netanyahu’s announcement, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization explained that Tehran can enrich a higher level of uranium now than before it signed the 2015 accord. The Prime Minister made the case that these documents prove Iran’s nuclear program, although renamed, is still a clear and present threat after the 2015 agreement. This announcement also comes after newly confirmed Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoChristie, Pompeo named co-chairs of GOP redistricting group America needs a new strategy for Pacific Island Countries Harris to hold fundraiser for McAuliffe ahead of Virginia governor's race MORE visited with the Prime Minister in Israel.

 

Supporters of the JCPOA promised us a moderate Iran shunning nuclear arms and terror and instead emerging as a responsible regional player. The exact opposite has happened. The JCPOA has unleashed Iran to double down on its worst tendencies and murderous ambitions. Since this deal, Iran has consolidated its influence in Iraq and expanded into Syria and Yemen. Iran has empowered Syria’s Assad to butcher his people while building military bases on Syrian soil from which to attack our ally, Israel. It has also transformed Hezbollah into one of the most powerful armies in the region. The prospect of war between Iran and Israel has never been greater.

Now that we’ve seen the disastrous effects of this dangerous deal, the time has come to fix it or end it. Any improved deal would need to address the glaring flaws in the original. We need to fix the sunset provisions that will ultimately enable Iran to go nuclear while we address the fact that the deal permits Iran to perfect enrichment and other nuclear technology while they await the sunset. We must end Iran’s ballistic missile program, clearly designed to deliver the bombs they will one day produce.

We also need to deal with the money that goes through Iran to its terrorist proxies. The JCPOA has not only enriched Iran, but it has enabled Iran to increase the support it gives to terrorist groups throughout the region. Anyone who wants to stop Hezbollah’s rise must start with the JCPOA.

A new or updated deal that truly remedies these glaring flaws would be an important step forward in reversing the region’s downward spiral. Although others in the international community prefer to postpone what will be an ugly day of reckoning, we must lead the way in ensuring that this flawed agreement cannot continue to fuel conflict and terror throughout the Middle East.

Coming on the heels on the May 12 decision, the United States will open a new embassy in this ancient capital of the Jewish people. The Trump administration’s decision to finally move our embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is the culmination of a process begun by Congress back in 1995, when a bipartisan majority voted to make this move.

However, President Trump was the first to finally ignore the critics and make this congressional mandate a reality. Starting on May 14, those seeking to deny the Jewish connection to Jerusalem will confront an important new obstacle.

The embassy opening in Jerusalem will be an historic day for renewed American leadership in the Middle East. It can be preceded two days earlier with an act of similar courage and clarity on Iran.

We’ve seen how President Trump has changed the status quo in negotiating and creating an opportunity for peace. As he steps forward, he should know that the more than four million members of Christians United for Israel stand with him as we seize this moment and reassert our place as leader in world affairs and the Middle East.

Drew Ryun is chief strategist for Christians United for Israel Action Fund. Alexandria Paolozzi is the group's director of Senate outreach.