ECLECTIC RANT:Trump pulls out of Iran Nuclear Agreement

Ralph E. Stone
Saturday May 12, 2018 - 11:12:00 AM

On May 8, 2018, Trump abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union, which severely limited Iran’s ability to enrich uranium fuel and other activities necessary to make nuclear weapons.  

In return, a wide array of economic penalties that had been imposed on Iran were rescinded or suspended, including many American sanctions and a European oil embargo that had weakened the Iranian economy. 

Calling it “worst deal ever negotiated,” Trump has argued that the Obama administration focused on Iran’s nuclear program while giving insufficient attention to many other of Iran’s activities, including its support for President Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria, its intervention in the Yemeni civil war and the role of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in disrupting the region. But the agreement was meant to deal with Iran’s nuclear activities, not its non-nuclear activities. While the agreement is not permanent or perfect, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, at least Iran is complying with it. 

Trump pulled out of the agreement even though Britain, France and Germany advised against it. Even some of his own advisers counseled him that it was in the interests of national security to keep the deal. 

Adding John Bolton and Mike Pompeo to his administration, who were against the deal, probably added support to Trump’s decision. 

By abandoning the nuclear deal the U.S. will lose more international credibility and further alienate European allies. How is he going to negotiate a denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula with North Korean leader Kim Jung-un when his credibility with keeping international agreements is even more suspect? Remember, he has already pulled out of the Paris Climate agreement, signed by 176 countries and the European Union. 

What's next? Stay tuned.