President Trump’s decision today to withdraw the U.S. from the JCPOA with Iran is a harrowing development. Moreover, it is a clear violation of the terms of the deal. As democratic socialists, we object to actions that harm the marginalized at home and abroad, and we advocate building collective power through international negotiations toward denuclearization and demilitarization.
Along with détente with Cuba, the JCPOA was one of the few rays of light in an Obama foreign policy that otherwise institutionalized the perpetual war state of the Bush Administration. The deal was a success at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, according to leading nonproliferation experts as well as the U.S.’s and Israel’s own security establishments. It also removed the core justification for another aggressive U.S. war. Given the presence in Trump’s administration of lifelong Iran hawks such as National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, we should not be surprised if Iran’s purported “efforts to get a nuclear weapon” — which the JCPOA was the best tool available for stopping — are used as pretext for future hostile US actions, from more sanctions to all-out bombing or invasion.
Let us not forget, however, that in the summer of 2017 it was Democrats in Congress who paved the way for today’s withdrawal with their foolish Iran sanctions package, which they bundled with Russia sanctions in an attempt to coax President Trump into opposing Putin. Out of hostility towards Iran, Trump happily signed the bill into law. The single Democratic caucus member to vote against it? Independent Bernie Sanders, who cited the need for peaceful reconciliation, not war, with Iran.
As a historic agreement is being realized in Korea, today’s news is a stark and distressing contrast. But we must not lose hope — instead, we must fight back. Here in the U.S., that means uniting to demand that politicians of all parties, in all branches and at all levels of government, commit to a pro-peace, anti-war agenda.
— Pittsburgh DSA Anti-Imperialism Committee