Iran Deal Withdrawal May Spur Arms Race, Ex-DOE Head Moniz Says

(Bloomberg) -- Ernest Moniz, who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal when he served as U.S. energy secretary in the Obama administration, warned that President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the landmark accord will “prove to be a strategic mistake.”

One outcome may be “that Iran, despite the encouragement of the Europeans and Russia, decides to withdraw from the agreement,” Moniz said Monday on the sidelines of an energy conference in Salt Lake City. “That presumably means that they will not permit the extraordinary verification efforts in the agreement. And if we can no longer verify that Iran is not restarting a nuclear weapons program and you start pulling on that thread, there’s no good outcome. Regional arms races, military actions, et cetera.”

The other outcome, Moniz said, is the Europeans, Russians, China and Iran remain in the agreement. And that drives an “an enormous wedge driven between the U.S. and its allies” and undermines any sanctions the U.S. imposes, he said.

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