The Washington Free Beacon is reporting that the Iranian government is accusing the United States of 18 separate violations of the Nuclear Weapons accord. The accusation is seen by foreign policy experts as a ploy to distract from the Islamic Republics own violations of the agreement. The Iranians took this initiative hard on the heels of the Trump administration’s decision to decertify the agreement that was first concluded under the Obama presidency and has been controversial ever since.

Trump says that Iran is already in breach of agreement

When he was a candidate, President Trump declared that the nuclear arms agreement was one of the worse deals he had ever seen and had vowed to end it once he became president.

Though, according to Politico, the administration’s official position is that Iran is violating the deal it has been reluctant to withdraw from it, instead of taking the middle course of decertification and passing the ball to Congress.

Two reasons exist for the Trump White House’s skittishness about withdrawing from the nuclear weapons agreement. First, none of the other parties, such as Europe as well as China and Russia, is likely to follow the United States. The Europeans are already cutting lucrative business deals with Iran. China and Russia regard Iran as a convenient irritant for the United States and would oppose a more aggressive stance toward the Islamic Republic.

The other reason is that once the nuclear agreement is dead, Iran could openly pursue a nuclear arsenal.

The options for stopping the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons are somewhat limited and includes a risky military strike. The Trump administration is already dealing with a nuclear and missile crisis in North Korea and is therefore understandably reluctant to start another one with Iran unless it has no choice.

What is Iran up to?

Iran is very likely continuing to develop nuclear weapons at clandestine military sites that are closed to UN inspectors. The accusation against the United States is a way to distract from this suspicion. It constitutes an attempt by the Iranians to maintain the moral high ground, at least with the Europeans and American liberals who still support the deal for economic and political reasons.

What happens next?

Congress is now mulling a variety of sanctions against Iran. One method may be to declare Iran in violation of UN resolutions that prohibit it from developing ballistic missiles and impose sanctions on that basis. The other long-term solution will be to ramp up missile defenses, a technology that was allowed to languish under the Obama administration but is now desperately needed to ward off attacks by rogue states such as Iran and North Korea.