Options to Cease Implementing the Iran Nuclear Agreement

September 7, 2017

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Missile


Kenneth Katzman, Paul K. Kerr, Valerie Heitshusen


Overview of the Issue

Press reports in August 2017 indicated that President Trump told his top aides that he might not certify to Congress that Iran is meeting its nuclear obligations under the July 14, 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA) when the next certification is due on October 15, 2017. There are several mechanisms or methods the Administration might use to cease implementing the JCPOA or to alter its implementation, if there is a decision to do so. One possible option could use provisions of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA, P.L. 114-17) – which amended Section 135(d)(6) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2160(e). It requires that the Administration certify every 90 days that Iran is in compliance. The JCPOA was between Iran and the “P5+1” group of countries (United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany).

This report bases its analysis primarily on the text of key documents involved in the issue – the JCPOA itself, U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 of July 20, 2015, which endorsed the JCPOA, and the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA, P.L. 114-17, of May 22, 2015).


Read the full report below.