A couple of weeks ago President Trump withdrew the US from the Iran Nuclear Deal. The Obama administration, EU allies, Russian, and China, worked hard to negotiate this agreement just a few years ago. The president apparently has no plan other than to suffocate the Iranian people, via extreme sanctions, into an uprising that will overthrow the current regime, or to perhaps threaten the ruling party with potential military action. What other strategies could one logically suspect was on the mind of President Trump when he pulled out of this deal. Oh, I forgot, of course, it is repealing yet another Obama administration agreement.

No deals are perfect, because they come from negotiation

Yes, one could debate that the Iran nuclear deal was not the ideal deal. However, it bought the mostly reasonable powers of the world ten years to watch, listen, and learn while perhaps nudging Iran closer to the international community. Ten years is a long time to negotiate or pressure Iran out of some of their terroristic military practices around the middle east. Who knows if the current regime would even survive the next decade. Buying time is a good thing, not a bad thing.

Let's think about the arc of history regarding denuclearization or nuclear non-proliferation as it was called in the 1950”s and 60s. According to the NY Times, there was a treaty originally negotiated between the then Soviet Union, now Russia, and the US.

It was an acknowledgment between the world’s two superpowers, that if unchecked, these powerful weapons could destroy the world. The agreement, in the 1960s, permitted only the five existing countries with nukes at the time, the US, Russia, France, England, and China, to have them. In the agreement was an acceptance by 178 nations that this would be the case.

There was a special resolution covering the Middle East acknowledging the special peace initiatives in the region. And, although outliers Iran, Iraq and North Korea signed the pact, but continued their nuclear programs. And, Israel, India, and Pakistan did not sign, it was a manageable agreement. It bought time.

South Africa abandons nukes program

In 1992, according to the Times, South Africa announced the abandonment of their nuclear weapons program in a nod to global momentum towards the eventual abolishment of nuclear weapons on the planet. Then in 1995, after much hand-wringing, an indefinite extension of the agreement was signed in a show of world unity regarding the reduction of the world’s nuclear weapons. Is the original nuclear non-proliferation treaty a perfect agreement, no. As described above, there were cheaters and fearfull rejecters. However, the whole world knows who they are and presumably through economic and other pressures, said players could be coerced into idle possession. There would be continual hope that diplomatic pressures and evolution may come to play, as in progress towards peace in some regions of the world, and the realization that autocracy and strict communism don’t work, in others.

President Trump is creating a dust storm in the Middle East

However, there are scarce examples of cornering a wounded animal, particularly in a “jungle” like the middle-east, having positive outcomes. And, there is no indication that the previously implemented sanctions curtailed their nuclear endeavors or poor behavior on the International stage. Moreover, by backing out of the Iran nuclear deal, the Trump administration has effectively ratcheted up economic uncertainties for many allied countries. The administration's resolve in pulling out of the deal could well drive Iran into increased military actions through their proxy militants, in Syria, Iraq and Indirectly against Israel, and open up the possibility that they resume their nuclear program, and quickly!

Trump’s only real leverage on Iran would be military. However, the idea that the American people would stand for another middle east fiasco following a decade and a half in Afganistan and Iraq, is unrealistic. Therefore such a threat held over the heads of Iran and their ruling party would appear as either a paper Tiger or fool's errand on the administration’s part.

Yes, buying time with the suspension of Iran’s nuclear weapon program for a decade, was the best the world powers could do. That’s why Russia, France, the UK, China, the US, all agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015. If president Trump has a better plan, he can run it by the other powers, before making rash decisions that negatively impact the Middle East, Europe, and the US.

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