Special Report: President Trump is DONE with Iran Nuclear Deal
According to a new report from NBC News, President Trump plans to decertify the Iran nuclear deal before the October 15 deadline, likely kicking the decision on whether to withdraw from the agreement to Congress, as outlined in the U.S. rules on the deal.
Having twice certified the deal already this year, Trump has reportedly grown increasingly dissatisfied with Iran’s “compliance” with the tenets of the agreement. While there is disagreement about whether or not Iran’s actions constitute a “material breach” of the deal, virtually every expert agrees that they are guilty of at least minor violations.
However, Trump’s main problem with the deal does not appear to stem from Iran’s compliance, but rather the terrible terms of the agreement itself. From the campaign trail through the first nine months of his presidency, Trump has repeatedly called it one of the worst-negotiated deals he’s ever seen and has vowed to scrap it and start over.
Doing so is a lot tougher than saying so, of course, and he will face a tsunami of pressure both domestically and internationally if he opens the door for a re-negotiated deal. There’s no sense that our European allies care to sit back down at the table, and it’s hard to imagine that Iran’s President Rouhani could survive any deal that makes his country’s position weaker. Already, the hardliners in his administration are ready to hang him out to dry. Succumbing to re-negotiation would probably be the end of his power as leader.
The deal’s champions, including former Secretary of State John Kerry, are urging the president to keep the status quo. In an interview with MSNBC, Kerry said that pulling out of the deal would send the wrong message to another one of America’s foes.
“If you go after the Iran deal and Iran the way he did yesterday and you talk about throwing it out, you make your diplomatic efforts of solving North Korea far more complicated,” Kerry said. “What does North Korea think, looking at the way he’s talking about shredding a deal that was made?”
That’s only a fair point, though, if we’re seriously thinking about creating an “Iran nuclear deal” with North Korea. Given that we’ve traveled that road already to no avail, it’s hard to imagine the Trump administration putting the deal on the table again. By all visible accounts, Trump’s strategy with Kim Jong Un is to FORCE North Korea away from its nuclear program through economic sanctions and…perhaps military confrontation. If the Iran deal goes by the wayside, we will likely have to pursue a similar course with them.
As with North Korea, there are no “wonderful” options here. Obama and Kerry rushed this deal through in the hopes of creating a legacy, and instead they’ve created a geopolitical mess that Trump now has to solve. Thankfully, though, he seems willing to forge ahead. Courageous determination won’t get the job done, but it’s a good first step.