The more interesting question isn’t whether Iran has been complying with the nuclear deal. It’s whether America has. American journalists often describe the agreement as a trade. In the words of one CNN report, it “obliges Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the suspension of economic sanctions.” But there’s more to it than that. The deal doesn’t only require the United States to lift nuclear sanctions. It requires the United States not to inhibit Iran’s reintegration into the global economy. Section 26 commits the U.S. (and its allies) “to prevent interference with the realisation of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting specified” in the deal. Section 29 commits the U.S. and Europe to “refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran.” Section 33 commits them to “agree on steps to ensure Iran’s access in areas of trade, technology, finance and energy.”

The Trump administration has likely been violating these clauses. The Washington Post reported that at a NATO summit last May, “Trump tried to persuade European partners to stop making trade and business deals with Iran.” Then, in July, Trump’s director of legislative affairs boasted that at a G20 summit in Germany, Trump had “underscored the need for nations … to stop doing business with nations that sponsor terrorism, especially Iran.” Both of these lobbying efforts appear to violate America’s pledge to “refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran.”