Finally, rejoining the JCPOA misses a critical opportunity to work together to fix the flaws in the JCPOA and reach a supplementary or new agreement that ensures that Iran does not continue on a trajectory of maintaining and expanding its nuclear weapons capabilities, including the development of nuclear-capable long-range ballistic missiles. The most likely endpoint of the JCPOA is an Iran that in about a decade can quickly build nuclear weapons mounted on intermediate-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles, lacks an inspection regime that can ensure that Iran does not have undeclared nuclear facilities and materials, and has a greatly expanded conventional armed forces and ballistic missile arsenal. Presidential candidates and policymakers alike should reconsider the implications of walking that pathway if they want to adopt a serious foreign-policy platform that protects U.S. national-security interests. Far better to use the growing leverage to build domestic and international support for a new agreement which fixes the deficiencies in the current deal.
David Albright, a physicist, is the founder and president of the Institute for Science and International Security where Andrea Stricker is a senior policy analyst.