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Trump switches sabre-rattling towards Iran

26th Oct 2017
Trump switches sabre-rattling towards Iran

P5+1 photo session on Iran nuclear deal on 14 July, 2015 in Vienna. Photographer: Hasan Tosun/AA

 

Seven times the International Atomic Energy Agency has given Iran a clean bill of health over its nuclear programme. The country has been subjected to the most intensive and technologically advanced inspection regime in history under the long-negotiated UN Security Council approved deal signed over two years ago. The agreement was seen not only as a rare success of collective diplomacy by the world’s biggest powers but the most important foreign achievement during the US presidency of Barack Obama.

The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran was a victory towards a more peaceful world without a single bullet being fired. Yet, the unpredictable replacement in the White House has sought once again to lay bare his obtuseness by threatening to scupper the nuclear monitoring agreement in the same way as he has frivolously rejected the Paris Agreement on climate change. In less than a year, Donald Trump has exposed his bigotry towards foreigners, especially blacks and Muslims, discriminating against people just because of their nationality with blanket entry bans on visiting the US. He has also threatened to build an Israeli-style wall to keep Mexicans out.

In his announcement to unilaterally renege on the nuclear deal with Iran, the tone was needlessly bellicose, strategically misjudged and common to many of his declarations was historically and factually inaccurate. In what can only be described as good news, he has been confronted by his friends and foes alike, including all signatories of the pact, have deplored his latest destabilising stunt. Both China and Russia joined Britain, France and Germany in declaring satisfaction with progress in the way the monitoring agreement was working. His only supporters were predictably Israel and Saudi Arabia, both with vested interests to undermine Iran and dominate the balance of power in the Middle East.

The eternal worry is that the outlandish behaviour of Trump is without any constraint: he does not seem to listen to anyone, even most of the military figures he has surrounded himself with. Instead, he treats them with the same contempt as he has for the rest of his team, with an unusual number of people fired already. So far, at least, he has resisted complete withdrawal from the nuclear deal but has insisted that he remained ready to wreck the delicate accord by calling for additional criteria to measure compliance. The hyperbole of Trump calling Iran the world’s leading ‘terrorist state’, is alongside his self-defeating approach of re-imposing sanctions on extraneous, non-nuclear issues.

The irony is that by taking the US out of the international consensus, Trump is risking making his own country into the rogue state. Even before his latest outburst, he had already certified himself and not his opponents as the most unstable leader in the world sitting on top of the biggest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction capable of destroying the entire Earth many times over.

 

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