One of the many messes Barack Obama has left Team Trump to clean up is the matter of Iran. In the wake of the nuclear weapons deal, Iran has become very aggressive toward its neighbors and to the United States, at one point taking a group of American sailors as hostages. While the incoming administration contemplates what it wants to do about the nuclear agreement, it is weighing options of more sanctions aimed at pressuring Iran to abandon its ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism.

Iran has been a thorn in the side of the United States ever since the Islamic Revolution overthrew the Shah and established a theocratic regime that violates human rights with a particular savagery. It began its reign of terror by taking American diplomats as hostage toward the end of the Carter presidency, helping to ensure the election of President Ronald Reagan. The Tehran regime has since delighted in being provocative while threatening world peace by building a nuclear arsenal and a ballistic missile force to rain fire on its enemies, starting with the State of Israel.

The Obama administration’s attempts at rapprochement with Iran that the current president dreamed of being a repeat of President Nixon’s opening of China. In fact, many analysts maintain that the Obama unrequited courtship of Iran is another Munich, the disastrous agreement between Britain, France, and Nazi Germany that led to World War II.

That the Trump administration will take a harder line with Iran is pretty clear, particularly with the nomination of James Mattis as Secretary of Defense.

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Donald Trump

One of its first tasks will be what to do with the nuclear agreement, which Trump will be free to scrap or not as it is not a formal treaty. One option would be to stop short of withdrawing, but to aggressively enforce the provisions of the agreement, which Iran has already violated with zest.

The long-term goal of the Trump administration will likely to affect regime change, though not directly. Look for stepped up support of Iranian dissidents and a vigorous covert campaign against Iran’s nuclear and missile program in the following years.

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