After three years denouncing the Iran nuclear deal as “horrible,” “disastrous,” and “insane,” Donald Trump yesterday formally announced that “the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal” and would “begin reinstituting U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime.”
To date the consensus is that Iran is complying with the stringent terms of the JCPOA. There is no rational reason for walking away from a deal that works.
And what does this say about the US role as a partner in any international agreement. That it can simply walk away from its obligations.
This is not foreign policy. It’s vandalism.
Trump is abandoning the Iran deal, with nothing to replace it. His own secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff say that Iran appears to be in compliance; his own secretary of defense says that staying in the deal is in America’s interest; European allies have pleading Trump to stick with it. That was at the heart of Macron’s message during his recent Washington visit.
Trump is isolating the United States, not Iran. He has significantly increased the risk of military conflict. He may even want it.
So does Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who seems to be itching for a joint American-Israeli strike on Iran. Netanyahu may see political advantages to a triumphant airstrike.
Just for the record, Donald, firing missiles does not suddenly make you presidential – whatever Fox News might say.
The Iranian regime may be untrustworthy. But that was the for the nuclear deal and the rigorous inspections that come with it. For now, the inspectors agree that Iran is essentially in compliance.
So what is Trump’s objective? Is it to achieve a new nuclear deal? Is it about regime change? And that is the problem. There is no plan – there is no strategy.