The current occupant of the White House as thrown lots of exaggeration and bushwah around in his attempt to provoke Iran into some hostile move. (Does anyone else get the sense that a President teetering on the edge of legitimacy is just spoiling for a war with someone, anyone, to boost his poll numbers?) Unfortunately for Donald Trump, the only party who thinks Iran is violating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is Donald Trump:
SIEGEL: He, though, would dispute that it’s a successful deal. First, just as a narrow nuclear deal, he would say, no, the Iranians have been violating the terms of the limits on heavy water. They’ve intimidated inspectors. Does he have any case?
NASR: Well, he’s alone in making that allegation. European leaders have all said that Iran is in compliance with what it agreed to. And also, the signatories of the deal at the outset left the charge of verifying the deal to the International Atomic Energy Association (ph) of the United Nations, which has technicians. And they have gone to Iran. They have inspected it. Iran is under the most intrusive inspection system. And to date they have said that Iran has abided by the terms of the deal. So President Trump is making his own judgment based on his own facts [Vali Nasr, interviewed by Robert Siegel, “International Affairs Expert Says Not Recertifying Iran Deal Is a Mistake,” NPR: All Things Considered, 2017.10.13].
…by undermining a nuclear deal that the United States led to negotiate involved a number of other – of our allies, Russia and China, and has been successful to date, by torpedoing it or arguing that it has to be renegotiated, he has seriously undermined U.S. credibility. It’s going to make it very difficult to have any other deal of this sort with Iran or any other nuclear actor. But also, this now puts Iran – United States on a confrontational path with Iran. And given the instability in the region, given the situation in Syria, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, it’s likely to get the United States more engaged in conflicts in the Middle East and destabilize the region. And I think that’s going to end up being his legacy in the region [Nasr/Siegel, 2017.10.13].
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Saturday that Trump’s action increases the threat of war near Europe and risks a spillover effect for other conflicts.
“My big concern is that what is happening in Iran or with Iran from the U.S. perspective will not remain an Iranian issue, but many others in the world will consider whether they themselves should acquire nuclear weapons, too, given that such agreements are being destroyed,” Gabriel said [“Aides Say U.S. Word Still Good After Iran Move,” AP via Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2017.10.16].
…Trump’s decertification reduces the chances that the rest of the international community will take the risk of partnering with the U.S. on addressing the North Korean crisis. The co-signers of the Iran agreement – Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany also now view the White House as an unreliable partner. Winning their support and cooperation on any measures regarding North Korea will now be even more difficult. This is particularly problematic in the case of China, North Korea’s biggest trading partner and considered an indispensable partner to any attempt to put pressure on Pyongyang [Allison Kaplan Sommer, “How Trump’s Iran Deal Bombshell Makes North Korea Even More Dangerous,” Haaretz, 2017.10.14].
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said yesterday that staying the Iran deal is in our national interest, but let’s not get too excited about Tillerson as a voice of reason on Iran. Last month, America’s top diplomat used his first meeting with Iran’s foreign minister, with top diplomats from our partners in the Iran deal in a conference room at the United Nations, to blame the nuclear deal for all sorts of Iranian aggression, to suggest his generation can’t improve American–Iranian relations, and then, perhaps redundantly, to declare, “I’m not a diplomat.”
The Iran nuclear deal was the best policy alternative available in 2015, and it is doing exactly what the Obama Administration and our international partners intended: “prevent Iran from acquiring enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon, demonstrate to the Iranian public the benefits of cooperation with the international community, and buy time for potential changes in Iranian politics and foreign policy.” As on domestic policy, Donald Trump is trying to unravel this international agreement, because his ego drives him to undo everything Barack Obama did, even when those Obama policies strengthen the United States of America.