When it comes to international issues, of late, and with good cause, the war in Ukraine has been front and center. There is still a lurking problem with Iran and I’d like to briefly explore that today.
Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Like most agreements the deal was far from perfect but it was infinitely better than where we find ourselves today. Under the agreement Iran’s nuclear ambitions were contained for at least 15 years. This is a case where a long and finite leash certainly beat no leash at all.
The deal wasn’t simply between Iran and America; six other nations including Russia were signatories. Keep in mind that America under the “leadership” of Trump broke it. All the other countries, crucially including Iran, were living by their word. For several weeks progressive sources have proclaimed that Iran was just weeks from being capable of making a nuclear device. I feel it is fair to deem that an exaggeration, but certainly far from a lie. Without doubt, today an unconstrained Iran is closer to a nuclear device than it would be if the monitoring of the agreement were still in place.
From an international diplomacy standpoint, the harm was just as great if not greater. When Joe Biden first met with international leaders as the new president, he said “America’s back” to which French President Emmanuel Macron replied, “For how long?”. The bottom line is that our friends trust an old pro like Biden but they know a know nothing renegade like Trump could be back in charge in but a few short years. Diplomatically the harm done by Trump will take decades if not generations to repair.
Diplomatically “putting the genie back in the bottle” will be difficult at best. Iran is in a much stronger bargaining position than it was back during the Obama administration mainly because of Trump’s folly. Do you honestly think we can get Russia to sign on to a new deal today?
Militarily ask yourself this simple question: Is the world better off and safer with Iran prevented from developing a nuclear device for say the next ten years or free to go full steam ahead immediately? I think the answer is simple.
Correctly our current first international focus is on the war in Ukraine; but an easily preventable nuclear Iran is looming in the not-too-distant shadows.
This article was written well ahead of scheduled publishing in order to accommodate my travel plans.
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