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Donald Trump’s unwise attitude to Iran and the nuclear agreement

Donald Trump’s nuclear obsession with Iran is misplaced, The US president would be better advised to try defusing tensions with North Korea, Ft.com ,   30 Aug 17, 

Donald Trump had two nuclear tantrums this summer, though you may know about only one of them. He warned North Korea it would face “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it made further threats to the US, and set much of the world fretting about nuclear war as a consequence. The former director of national intelligence James Clapper noted that there is nothing to stop Mr Trump from carrying out a first strike, which, as he rightly puts it, is “pretty damn scary”. Also scary is Mr Trump’s determination to reopen another nuclear dispute that was parked in 2015, thanks to deft diplomacy by his predecessor. He doesn’t rage as much about Iran as North Korea but Mr Trump hates the Iran nuclear deal, which rolled back Tehran’s enrichment programme in exchange for a lifting of international sanctions. Every time the state department confirms Iran is in compliance with it (Congress mandates this every 90 days), the president has a fit.

This summer, according to US media, during one such episode, Mr Trump ordered his lieutenants to come up with a reason why Iran is flouting the agreement next time they report back to him. For foreign policy watchers, this brought back memories of George W Bush’s obsession with Saddam Hussein and the resulting politicisation of intelligence on weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq. The consequences of that misguided adventure are still spilling Iraqi and American blood……
With the crisis intensifying in North Korea — which, unlike Iran, does have nuclear weapons — ensuring an Iranian nuclear programme stays inactive for a decade is rather reassuring. Though the circumstances and the nature of the regimes of North Korea and Iran are different, the same painstaking multilateral diplomacy that produced the deal with Tehran will be needed to resolve the stand-off with Pyongyang peacefully….
while it would have been preferable to force Iran into a total surrender, it was not possible. If there had been a better deal to be had, the six world powers involved in the talks would have negotiated it. Mr Trump fancies himself as a master negotiator, but he would meet his match if he sat down with the Iranians. The US administration is under the impression that undermining the nuclear agreement would force Iran into submission to its Sunni Arab neighbours. More likely, quite the opposite would happen. Mr Trump is obsessing about Iran for the wrong reasons. More useful would be to study the nuclear agreement for the lessons it might offer about dealing with North Korea. roula.khalaf@ft.com  https://www.ft.com/content/3534bbf6-8c96-11e7-9084-d0c17942ba93
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September 1, 2017 - Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA

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