Opponents of President Donald Trump claim that President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the Iran deal blocks any chance of a new agreement with Tehran and wrecks U.S. credibility with its allies.
Trump’s supporters, for their part, argue that the president opened up the possibility of negotiating a better deal with the ayatollahs by abandoning his predecessor’s lopsided nuclear pact.
Both sides are wrong. And, more to the point, they miss the larger picture.
For more than twenty years, successive U.S. administrations have been vexed by the challenge of Iran’s illicit pursuit of nuclear weapons. And from the time the problem first emerged during Bill Clinton’s tenure at the White House, there have only been two viable means to block Iran’s path to the bomb.
The first path is the path of regime change. This option requires the U.S. to precipitate Iran’s economic and social collapse through crippling economic sanctions and active support for the Iranian people as they rise up against their theocratic overlords.
The second path is to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations and assets through limited covert and overt strikes.