On January 12, 2018, Trump issued a “Statement by the President on the Iran Nuclear Deal”.
A key passage says that Trump will kill the nuclear deal with Iran unless the European allies bow to his demands to fix the deal:
“Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies’ agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal. This is a last chance. In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately. [Emphasis added]
If these allies bow and attempt to fix the deal according to Trump’s requirements, Iran will not go along and knuckle under, because Trump is making many unreasonable demands. Iran will then have a much stronger incentive to resume nuclear development and hasten its ballistic missile program. This will lead the U.S. to attack Iran.
If the allies do not bow to Trump, but stay in the deal with Iran, that course of action stands a better chance of avoiding war. That assumes that Iran stays in the deal too, despite Trump’s reimposition of sanctions. But in that case, Iran’s incentive increases to develop nuclear weapons and systems to deliver them.
The existing deal gets a non-nuclear Iran for its duration. This isn’t good enough for Mr. Trump, however. He makes demands that Iran will never accept. He wants Iran to be open to international inspections anywhere at any time. He wants to make sure that Iran never ever comes close to possessing nuclear weapons. He wants to void Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities. Iran has no incentive to agree to any of this.
Trump’s demands and his threat to pull out of the deal raise the likelihood that Iran will move ahead to develop deliverable nuclear weapons. That, in turn, greatly raises the chances that the U.S. will attack Iran outright.
If Trump pulls out of the nuclear deal, it means war with Iran. Such a war will be a severe disaster, and made by Trump. It will destabilize every state in the Middle East with incalculable consequences. The forces of 4th generation warfare will proliferate. Extremist groups of many descriptions will take root. Oil supplies will be jeopardized. Israel will be jeopardized, raising the likelihood of the use of nuclear weapons in the region. The turmoil will spread to central Asia, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Russia is bound to become involved.
The best we can hope for is that Europeans create their usual fog of delay, division, imprecision, complication, footdragging and endless talk, in order to give Trump space to back off and back down.2:42 pm on January 18, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff