When the Obama administration managed to avoid a congressional vote on its nuclear deal with Iran in 2015 courtesy of a Democratic Senate filibuster, the argument surrounding the controversial agreement seemed to be over. That’s why Democrats are reacting with impatience and skepticism about statements from the Trump administration about re-evaluating the deal.
Yet rather than an impotent gesture designed to distract us from a decision not to tear up the accord that President Donald Trump blasted throughout the 2016 election campaign, the administration’s talk of reopening the issue should be taken seriously. Trump’s foreign policy team is coming to grips with the fact that everything it hopes to accomplish in the Middle East as well as threats to US security are connected to an Iranian regime immeasurably strengthened — both politically and economically — by Obama’s misguided effort to create detente with Tehran.
At best, the pact with Iran merely kicked the can down the road on the nuclear threat, since the accord will expire in a decade. With its advanced nuclear infrastructure and research ability left intact, Iran will soon be in position to achieve its nuclear ambitions while having its economy bolstered by revived ties with the West. Yet by deliberately ignoring Iran’s role as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, its illegal testing of ballistic missiles, and its military adventures in Iran and Yemen, Obama’s deal essentially made the Islamist regime even more dangerous to its Arab neighbors, as well as to Israel and the West, while seemingly leaving Trump with no choice but to live with the mess he inherited.
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