“America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail,” President Donald Trump declared in his speech, justifying the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal earlier this month. Trump emphasized that the deal “fails to address the regime’s development of ballistic missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads.”
We are scholars who have studied Iran’s missile capabilities. Although we acknowledge that important players have said that revising the deal is impossible, we contend that Trump’s concern about ballistic missiles doesn’t have to be the fatal flaw of the deal, often known as the JCPOA. Rather, a new agreement that limits Iranian nuclear capabilities at the same time as it curbs its ballistic missile program could be worked out, thus insuring that Iran will not be able to mount a “nuclear blackmail” of American – or European – cities.