Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Post-Iran Deal, the US Needs a Plan to Keep Nuclear Weapons from Spreading

| May 11, 2018

On May 8, President Donald Trump announced that he was pulling the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Just hours later, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN that his country would "do whatever it takes to protect our people. We have made it very clear that if Iran acquires a nuclear capability we will do everything we can to do the same." And when a reporter asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to outline her administration's response to this statement, the secretary's response marked a departure from decades of US nonproliferation policy and commitment to the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation on Nuclear Weapons (NPT). "Right now," Sanders said, "I don’t know that we have a specific policy announcement on that front, but I can tell you that we are very committed to making sure that Iran does not have nuclear weapons."

The administration's seeming abdication of its traditional leadership role on nonproliferation comes just weeks before President Trump is scheduled to meet with North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-un....

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For Academic Citation: Tabatabai, Ariane and Martin Rioux-Lefebvre .“Post-Iran Deal, the US Needs a Plan to Keep Nuclear Weapons from Spreading.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May 11, 2018.

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