This morning, the Associated Press reported that the United States will be withdrawing from the nuclear peace deal that President Obama and six other nations spent eight years brokering with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The deal involved the reduction of Iran’s uranium stockpile by 98% for fifteen years and the shuttering of two-thirds of its centrifuges, which grew by the thousands following the Bush Administration’s rejection of peaceful overtures by Iran in the early 2000s.
Trump announced that he will be reinstating all of the sanctions that were rescinded in exchange for the mothballing of their uranium enrichment deal, and will be imposing additional sanctions on top of them.
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Iran will likely devote all of their efforts to constructing a nuclear bomb, which they can likely do within a year.
The influence of notorious warmonger and Iraq War advocate John Bolton, now National Security Advisor, is obvious in the peculiar timing of this move, which is bound to infuriate not only our European allies but also our rivals in Beijing and Moscow, all of whom are a party to the deal.
The right-wing extremist government of Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the neoconservative war hawk military-industrial establishment in Washington, and the “Death To America” hardliners in Iran’s government are the primary groups in favor of seeing the nuclear peace deal torn up – and the president just played right into their hands.
Trump’s rash move may have just triggered not one but two nuclear crises; North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, watching from afar, just learned that President “Deals” treats international agreements like he does his marriages. All the efforts that North and South Korea have put into repairing their relationships and putting an end to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions are now in jeopardy since America can no longer be trusted to keep its commitments.
Trump ran on a promise to tear up the Iran deal simply because it was President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement, but seeing as he has no real policy positions beyond those that directly contribute to his personal wealth, it was always a question of whether or not he’d actually do it; whether or not the few remaining calm heads in the White House would eventually win out was another question entirely.
As civil war rages in Syria and Yemen while Iraq prepares for a contentious general election in upcoming weeks, the last thing that the Middle East – or the United States – needs is yet another crisis to deal with. But Trump may have just blindly opened the door to a conflict of cataclysmic proportions.