What Trump's Move on Iran Means for the US and the World
Albanian Daily News
Published October 13, 2017
President Donald Trump will not kill the Iran nuclear deal on Friday.
But when he declares that it has not been in US interests, he will consign the proudest legacy achievement of President Barack Obama's second term to a deeply uncertain future -- and could even set off a train of consequences that could eventually lead to its collapse.
Should that be the case, Trump, or one of his successors in the Oval Office, may one day face the fateful choice that the deal was supposed to circumvent -- whether to use military force to stop the Islamic Republic racing toward the bomb.
The President has fumed against what he has called a "very bad deal" and an "embarrassment" to the country despite all available evidence that Iran is complying with terms which imposed limits on its nuclear program in return for a lifting of sanctions that had crippled its economy.
"I think it was one of the most incompetently drawn deals I've ever seen," Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Wednesday.
Trump's move, previewed to CNN by government sources and foreign diplomats, will give Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions lifted under the terms of the agreement.
While the administration is not expected to push Congress to go that far, since it would likely cause Iran to immediately walk away, proponents of the nuclear deal fear that Trump's decision will strike a severe blow at the deal's legitimacy.
A significant stiffened US policy toward Iran designed to tackle what the White House says are Tehran's destabilizing activities and support for terrorism could return the enemies to the cycle of confrontation and proxy wars of most of the last four decades, that could in itself cause the deal to slowly begin to unravel.
"If the President chooses to not certify, that already will be a negative step -- for one thing it will start a process of isolating us from our allies," Ernest Moniz, Obama's former energy secretary who helped negotiate the agreement, said on CNN's "New Day."
"If we went all the way and reimposed sanctions while Iran is in compliance ... this would be a slippery slope towards a bad outcome, something very much not in our national security interest," Moniz said.