Some US critics of the agreement have spoken about trying to renegotiate aspects of the JCPOA to tighten enforcement and extend restrictions on key aspects of Iran’s nuclear program beyond the 10-15 years specified in the deal. Others have pushed for more sanctions against Iran tied to other issues, such as human rights abuses or Iranian missile tests, in the hopes of pushing Iran to withdraw from the JCPOA.
Asked if they would be willing to renegotiate the agreement in return for more relief of US sanctions, only 30% of Iranians polled were in favor while 58.9% said no. A near majority of 48.4% said Iran should react to any US abrogation of the accord by restarting elements of the nuclear program restricted by the JCPOA; 39.1% said Iran should complain to the United Nations.
“The results in the poll regarding renegotiation are further evidence that the notion of being able to get a ‘better deal’ from Iran was always a fantasy,” Pillar said.
Nancy Gallagher, director of CISSM, agreed. She told Al-Monitor, “With the upcoming presidential election in Iran, political pressures on [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani to resist renegotiation will be strong, especially given the public’s perception that the current deal has failed to deliver promised benefits to date.”
Some Iranian commentators believe that the Trump administration seeks to push Iran to violate the agreement. On Jan. 23, the Khorasan newspaper wrote, according to a translation by Mideast Mirror, “While implementing the nuclear deal half-heartedly, Trump will try to increase pressure on Iran in areas such as missile program, human rights and terrorism. It is even likely that more sanctions will be imposed. With this approach, Trump will try to push Iran towards leaving the nuclear agreement.”