May 8, 2018: Just moments before President Trump’s announcement of his decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal–formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA–Mark Dubowitz was among the experts featured on Fox News to help viewers understand the situation as it unfolded live. The following are highlights from Mark’s appearance on Fox News’ Outnumbered.
Arthel: I want to start with this idea, Mark, that there is a way to go forward that is much better than where we are—what is it?
Mark: Look, the other way to go forward was to fix the agreement and apply maximum pressure to the Iranian regime, which is already facing an economic crisis and a political crisis of its own making. The U.S. and the Europeans were negotiating a supplemental agreement to address some of the fundamental flaws of this agreement and the severe deficiencies that were negotiated by President Obama and his team. I think they were fairly close and I think a fix plus maximum pressure could have gotten us there. I think the President has decided a nix to a fix. I think he’s going to walk away from the deal in order to build leverage to bring the United States back into the agreement. It’s very ‘Trumpian,’ and it’s very much the ‘art of the deal.’
Arthel: Well, the details that we’re getting into Fox News is that there would be this 90-day window for other countries and, I would imagine, lawmakers on Capitol Hill to come together to try to get to a better deal—a better place.
Mark: Well look, the fundamental problem that Europe has now is that they’re between an Iranian ‘rock’ and a ‘Trumpian’ ‘hard place.’ The Iranians are going to threaten nuclear escalation unless the Europeans put billions of dollars into the Iranian economy to save Iran from collapse, while Donald Trump, I’m sure, is going to threaten to enforce sanctions against European companies and banks. The escape hatch for Europe right now is that they have to come to an agreement with the United States on these last remaining issues. I think the President is going to put pressure on President Macron to bring Iranian leaders back to the table negotiate a comprehensive agreement that addresses the fatal flaws of the original agreement but is more expansive in addressing the full range of Iran’s malign activities.
Watch the full Outnumbered interview on FDD’s website here or on FDD’s YouTube page here. To hear more from Mark on a nuclear Iran, check out this podcast episode of FDD’s Foreign Podicy, “The Future of the Iran Deal.”