The Washington Post is reporting that President Donald Trump intends to “decertify” the Iranian nuclear arms agreement, declaring it to be not in the national interests of the United States. However, Trump plans to delay recommending to Congress that sanctions be reimposed, which would officially end the agreement. The president intends, according to sources, to reveal a broader strategy to confront the rogue nation in a speech late next week.

The Iran deal as the modern Munich

When President Barack Obama first executed the Iran nuclear weapons deal, an agreement between the Islamic Republic and the United States, Great Britain, the European Union, Russia and China, it was roundly condemned as a modern version of the Munich agreement.

As the Heritage Foundation noted, the deal, at best, only slowed down Iran’s development of as nuclear weapon and left that country’s nuclear infrastructure intact. Access by UN inspectors was, putting the matter mildly, inadequate. In return, the five other powers lifted Economic Sanctions against Iran, giving it the funds it needed to complete its nuclear program clandestinely and to foment terrorism around the world.

Trump change appears to be a compromise

However, it does not look like President Trump is prepared to just yet withdraw full bore from the agreement. For one thing, the other four powers that are parties to the deal with Iran would be reluctant to snap back economic sanctions. For another thing, Trump would be faced with a risky military option to deal with Iran’s nuclear program.

What happens now?

The United States is already dealing with a nuclear missile crisis in North Korea, the result of an agreement initiated by the Clinton administration followed by a policy of “strategic patience” by the Bush and Obama White Houses. It is naturally reluctant to escalate another standoff in the Middle East unless it is faced with no choice.

Missile defense may be the only short-term answer

The only short-term solution may be beefing up missile defenses in both the Middle East and the Northern Pacific. In THAAD and Aegis, the United States has some pretty good systems for dealing with short and intermediate-range missiles. Shooting down longer range ICBMs look to be more problematic.

The Obama administration stopped almost all development for such systems. Even a crash program to develop and deploy long-range missile defenses will likely be a task of years. Such an effort would not address the horrific problem of nuclear terrorism, something both Iran and North Korea are capable of.

Over 25 years after the end of the Cold War and the end of the threat of nuclear annihilation, the atomic genie is out of the bottle again, this time in possession of madmen.