What a difference an administration makes. President Donald Trump does not suffer from the delusion that he can do for Iran what Nixon did for China, bring it back into the community of nations with quiet diplomacy. Thus when Iran violated United Nations resolutions by conducting ballistic missile tests, the trump administration was ready with targeted sanctions against certain individuals and organizations involved in the development of those weapons delivery systems. The White House is also taking a dim view of Tehran’s continued support for terrorism and is acting accordingly.

Significantly Trump has not pulled the trigger on leaving the nuclear weapons deal. The strategy seems to be to build a case that Iran has violated the agreement and thus provide a reason for abrogating it. The onus would be on Tehran and not the United States.

What happens next largely depends on what Iran does. The Trump administration has not taken any option off of the table, including military action. The policy is a smart one, since the United States may have to launch a strike against Iranian nuclear sites if (when) the Islamic Republic is found to be cheating on the nuclear arms deal. One imperative of Middle East policy is that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons at any cost.

Nukes in the hands of the theocratic rulers would be like placing a machine gun in the hands of an ISIS terrorist and placing him in the middle of a crowded school yard.,

Trump will also likely start forming ties with Iranian opposition groups, providing them with support, with the long-term goal of undermining and, ultimately, overthrowing the regime.

Having an Iran run by a secular, democratic government would go a long way toward establishing stability and peace in the Middle East.

Israel and the Sunni Arab states are euphoric with this turn of events. They had lived in terror for the past eight years under Obama’s policy of appeasement of Iran. Ironically, fear of Iran had brought Israel and her traditional enemies, even Saudi Arabia, together for mutual support. This development is something the Trump administration should build upon as well.