Former Vice President Joe Biden took to Facebook this week to denounce President Donald Trump’s decision to not certify the 2015 nuclear treaty between Iran and the United States, Russia, China, and the European Union (with nations Germany, France, and the United Kingdom as co-signatories as well). Biden, who was a long-time member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and chaired the body for two years during the Bush administration, stated that Trump’s decision was an “unfounded and unnecessary threat to America’s national security.”
Joe Biden, writing on his Facebook page, penned that instead of isolating Iran, President Donald Trump’s decision to decertify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal title of the Iran nuclear deal or treaty, would engender “detrimental effects” with international relations and serve to isolate the U.S. against the consensus of the rest of the world. Noting that the treaty, as it stands, was “working” and making the U.S. and its allies, including Iran’s Middle East neighbor, Israel, “more secure,” he pointed out that Trump’s announcement to discontinue certifying the Iran nuclear treaty would cost America diplomatic leverage, “weaken our unity with our allies,” and damage its credibility.
Biden, citing that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has maintained that Iran has remained in compliance with the treaty. He added that America’s allies in Europe have agreed with the IAEA and that “the Trump administration has twice certified Iran’s compliance.”
According to Biden, this made Trump’s decision run against “reason and evidence.”
“It constitutes an unfounded and unnecessary threat to America’s national security — one that inflicts lasting damage to American global leadership.”
CBS News reported President Trump on Friday claimed that Iran had violated the “spirit” of the nuclear treaty and called for Congress to work on a new deal that would be more beneficial to the U.S. and its allies, calling the treaty negotiated during the Obama administration “unacceptable” in that it “best only delays Iran’s nuclear capability for a short period of time.”
Biden rebuked Trump, stating that the president presented no credible evidence to support his decision. Instead, the former vice president insisted that Trump was “playing politics at the expense of the safety of every single American citizen.”
Relations between the U.S. and Iran have historically been strained, but recent confrontations in the past couple of years, including an incident in August where warning shots were fired between the U.S. Navy and Iranian naval forces, have increased tensions.
Joe Biden ended his Facebook post with the hope that “rational heads will prevail” in Congress, which, by law, would have to renegotiate the current treaty to include new measures, as requested by President Trump, and ratify any new agreement. The president is legally required by existing law, specifically, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, to re-certify the Iran nuclear treaty every 90 days.
Under U.S. constitutional law, presidents do not make unilateral decisions regarding treaties with foreign powers. Any formal deals and agreements must be also ratified by congressional approval.
It is uncertain whether or not Congress will follow President Trump’s lead and push for another diplomatic arrangement with new benchmarks, or if it will leave the Iran nuclear treaty, which is currently up for renewal, and its re-certification process as it exists at present.
[Featured Image by Abraham Magnawa/Shutterstock]