As promised during the campaign and reiterated during the first months of the campaign, President Donald Trump officially announced that the United States is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear weapons deal. He denounced the agreement as flawed and one-sided and the Iranian regime as a duplicitous purveyor of terrorism. After a grace period that lasted several months, sanctions will be imposed back on Iran, which will include countries whose business dealings with the regime might be seen as being beneficial to its nuclear ambitions. The newly confirmed Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell has already informed German companies to wrap up operations in Iran and get ready to pull out.

Trump also sent a message to the people of Iran and told them that the United States stands with them in their struggle for freedom.

Why the withdrawal was inevitable

The Iranian regime is very likely cheating on the Iranian weapons deal, widely seen as a 21st Century version of the Munich Agreement. Iran has been openly building missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads. It is fomenting terrorism and participating in imperialist games in war-torn Syria and Iraq. The revelations contained in the documents purloined by the Israeli Mossad no doubt helped the president make his decision. The news that former Secretary of State John Kerry was conducting ham-handed and illegal attempts at rogue diplomacy to try to preserve the agreement also stiffed the president’s spine.

Reactions were what one would expect

The Iranian regime reacted with predictable threats. European political leaders maintained a more sorrowful than angry stance, no doubt worried that business deals with the Iranian government were going to get scotched. Israel, understandably, was delighted. In the United States, the response broke down on party lines, with Republicans supporting the decision and Democrats complaining that breaking the agreement was dangerous and raised the possibility of war.

What happens now?

The Iranians have announced that they intend to adhere to the agreement, which translated means that they will pretend to do so and still cheat clandestinely. After a grace period, the American sanctions are going to hit the already shaky Iranian economy quite hard. In the meantime, one would not be too surprised if the United States ramps up secret support for Iranian dissidents who are protesting the regime’s corruption and tyranny.

The endgame has to be the fall of the Islamic Republic, to be replaced by a free, democratic and secular government that respects human rights and wants peaceful relations with its neighbors and the world. How that can be accomplished and when are uncertain, but the fall of the Soviet Union proves that such a thing is possible.

In the meantime Trump has had his Churchillian, his Reagan-esque moment. No doubt he will make the most of it.