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Donald Trump will not be able to make the Iran nuclear deal fail

President Trump Can’t Make The Iran Nuclear Deal Fail – Yet, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2017/07/20/president-trump-cant-make-the-iran-nuclear-deal-fail-yet/#447eb4277409, James Conca ,  On the two-year anniversary of the Iran Nuclear Deal, President Trump reluctantly certified that Iran is complying with the international nuclear agreement that prevents Iran from attaining an atomic weapon.

But he really didn’t want to. The President argued with his top national security advisers who, thankfully, convinced him that the deal was working.

Monday’s decision was the second time Mr. Trump has certified Iran’s compliance since taking office. By law, the administration must notify Congress every 90 days whether Iran is living up to the deal. But aides said the frustrated President told his security team he would not keep doing so indefinitely.

It took an hour of cajoling by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, National Security Adviser Lt. General McMaster, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Dunford Jr. to convince the President that not certifying the deal would be really really bad.

Trump wants to scuttle the nuclear deal in order to keep a campaign promise. But actually hurting the United States’ national security interests, and the world, is making that difficult. Even with help from like-minded Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), David Perdue (R-GA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), Trump may not get the war he wants.

Which is good. Two-third of Americans feel that Trump will get us into another major war, and half of Americans think he will use nukes when he gets the chance. Neither of these is good for America. Most people forget that the Iraq war that toppled Hussein’s Baathist government took out Iran’s natural enemy and made the defeated Baathists morph into ISIS.

 Fortunately, Iran is actually meeting the terms of the nuclear dealhammered out in Switzerland two years ago by the United States-led P5+1 Group. According to the United Nations’ nuclear watch dog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran shipped nearly its entire fissionable stockpile to Russia last year, over 12 tons of enriched uranium that could have been used to make uranium atomic bombs. Iran then mothballed thousands of centrifuges necessary to enrich uranium for this type of atomic weapon.

Iran also removed the core of its heavy water reactor at Arak, and filled it with concrete. That reactor could have produced plutonium for the other type of atomic bomb, one that is more easily mounted on missiles, like the ones North Korea has.

While Tehran still remains a threat in the region, and will likely try some covert activities like those pointed out by the Senators, they cannot easily re-acquire nuclear weapons capabilities, which is the most important outcome of this deal. And they can’t without us finding out, as long as the deal is in place.

But if the United States breaks the deal, it would leave Iran holding all the cards. Sanctions would not snap back on if we break the deal as the rest of the world will correctly blame us, not Iran. And Iran could then expel the inspectors and ramp up their nuclear program without sanctions. The United States would look like idiots and we would only have the military option since we would have broken the only successful diplomatic one.

In fact, Tehran’s hard-liners argue that America has already violated the nuclear deal since President Trump has been pressuring businesses not to engage with Iran even though those particular sanctions have been lifted. Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif declared last Sunday to Fareed Zakaria on CNN, ‘That is a violation of not the spirit but of the letter of the nuclear deal.’

Through this nuclear deal, Zarif and Iranian President Rouhani have demonstrated to the people and the theocrats of Iran that they could successfully deal with the West. In fact, the nuclear deal is the best weapon Rouhani has against the hardliners who want to continue the fight against the West, obtain nuclear weapons, and keep the region embroiled in conflict.

American critics of the deal have always wanted to couple the nuclear deal with other issues like regional terrorism and human rights, and want to apply tougher sanctions and the threat of military force. But the regional problems are tied to the larger Shia-Sunni divide that pits Iran against Saudi Arabia in regional civil conflicts, like Syria and Yemen. America needs to resist getting dragged into these ancient religious conflicts as they never work out well for us.

President Trump has strongly aligned the United States with Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni Arab states, as well as Israel, in their mutual struggle with Shia Iran over control of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is definitely not happy about the Iran nuclear deal working and is not happy that its archenemy is losing its pariah-state status.

The Saudis have been stoking sectarian violence in the region for the last two years in the hopes of pushing Iran off the wagon and claiming itself as the only rational partner in the region.

However, the Saudis keep beheading people at breakneck speed, some for just criticizing the government, some for drug offences or just being on social media. But when the Saudis, who are Sunni, executed a prominent Shiite Muslim cleric last year, Iranian protesters burned the Saudi Embassy in Tehran.

That the Saudis did this, despite urgent pleas from the United States, speaks volumes about how much our ally does not want this nuclear deal to work.

Now it seems to be our new Administration’s policy as well.

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July 21, 2017 - Posted by | politics international

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