President Trump announced today that the United States will be reinstating sanctions on Iran, nearly guaranteeing a full scuttling of the Iran nuclear peace deal, and reinstating the incentive for the Persians to pursue nuclear weapons as a deterrent against a possible western invasion. It was a deeply ignorant move by a president who doesn’t understand the deal but hates it simply because his predecessor, the first black president, forged it. He failed to provide any evidence proving that Iran has violated the deal.
Trump’s entire agenda has been the erasure of President Obama’s legacy, and today his nihilism took its most dangerous turn to date. The abandoning of the deal makes war more likely, and also destroys our global credibility. Future presidents will find it difficult to create international consensus since now the entire world knows we are only ever just one bad election away from a vindictive madman assuming power and torpedoing everything built by whoever came before him.
Former Vice President Joe Biden took to Facebook to voice his deep concerns with Trump’s decision, correctly recognizing it as a “profound mistake.” He also pointed out that it will not make the world a safer place, and will do nothing to curtail Iran’s sponsorship of terrorist organizations. It’s a PR move aimed at exciting Trump’s base, nothing more. Wrote Biden:
“Today’s announcement that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal is a profound mistake. It will isolate the United States from nearly every major world power. It will weaken our credibility and global leadership. It will allow Iran to garner international sympathy while doing nothing to reduce its harmful activities across the Middle East.
All it will likely accomplish is to put Iran back on the path to a nuclear weapon with no clear diplomatic way out. This wholly unnecessary crisis could ultimately put the safety of our country and our fellow citizens, including thousands of men and women in uniform serving across the Middle East, at risk by setting us back on a path to war with Iran.
We should continue to work with our allies and partners to counter Iran’s ability to subvert Israel and other partners in the region. However, the deal provided a long-term check on Iran’s pathways to a nuclear bomb, buying us critical time and space to address the regime’s other destabilizing activities.
The fact is that the agreement has been working to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. The International Atomic Energy Agency says so. Our allies in Europe say so. Even the Trump administration has consistently certified Iran’s compliance, a fact confirmed by now-Secretary of State Pompeo’s testimony just last month.
Talk of a “better deal” is an illusion. It took years of sanctions pressure, painstaking diplomacy, and the full support of the international community to achieve that goal. We have none of that in place today.
President Trump’s decision will do the opposite of what he says he intends. It will free up Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon and ultimately force us into a binary choice between engaging in a new military conflict or living with a nuclear-armed adversary, both of which pose grave national security risks. And it puts us at odds with our closest European allies, who repeatedly urged the United States to honor the agreement.
As a result, President Trump has manufactured a crisis for his own political interests that puts us on a collision course not only with an adversary but also with our closest partners. It is just the latest example of how President Trump’s notion of “America First” will leave America more alone and less secure.”
Not surprisingly, President Obama also issued an eloquent, urgent response to Trump’s decision. He reiterated that the Iran Deal (officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) is working, despite Trump’s insistence to the contrary. Obama also rightfully pointed out that betraying the Iran deal makes the path to North Korea denuclearization much harder.
Right when it looks like the Kim regime might finally come to the table and disarm, Trump is sending a message that the United States cannot be trusted to honor its agreements. There is no upside here.
President Obama also used facts and numbers to explain exactly how and why the JCPOA is working, offering a levelheaded antidote to our current anti-facts leader.
Perhaps the most sobering part of the statement is the section in which President Obama admits that Trump’s decision could eventually lead to war. This was always the greatest risk in electing Trump. His sociopathic behavior means a devastating new war could prove to be not the last resort, but something he embarks on at a whim. Hopefully, that never comes to pass.