The day after the State Department certified Iran as being in compliance with the nuclear arms deal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson strode before the TV cameras and dropped the other shoe. He noted that the deal only delays the day that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons and noted that President Donald Trump had ordered a review of the agreement and the state of sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The United States has already imposed a set of sanctions on Iran as a result of illegal missile tests.

Iran, which is likely continuing a nuclear weapons development program clandestinely, has also been an undisputed sponsor of terrorism.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards are operating in Syria, propping up the Bashar Assad regime. Iran is a flagrant violator of human rights of its people, imposing savage religious laws to control private behavior and free expression. The Obama administration had largely ignored this behavior, fixed as it was on the goal of warming up relations between the United States and Iran. The Trump administration is taking a decidedly different approach.

The new president has embarked on a policy of confronting rogue nations such as Iran and North Korea which either have nuclear weapons or aspire to possess them. The goal of the new policy is ultimately regime change, though without full-scale military action for which Americans have no stomach for in the wake of Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the short term, the objective is to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and pressure North Korea into giving up theirs. As a last resort, America will likely beef up missile defenses and work to prevent the proliferation of nukes from rogue countries to terrorist organizations.

The new policy is fraught with peril.

A miscalculation could spark a war in the Northern Pacific and/or Central Asia, Other countries that America might rely on for support are more inclined to appeasement, especially in regards to Iran. But the Trump administration has judged that not acting carries with it even greater peril. If either Iran or North Korea gets the capability to deliver a nuclear weapon with a ballistic missile, the world will be thrown into unimaginable danger.

Iran is run by a cabal of religious zealots who believe that their misbehavior is sanction by God. North Korea is ruled by a madman who feels that he has no constraints on his behavior.

The situation in North Korea and Iran might have been avoided by sounder policy that tried to place restraints on their freedom of action. Unfortunately, the failures of previous administrations have come home to roost.