“Breaking the nuclear deal, to keep a campaign promise, could put Washington on a slippery slope towards a military confrontation”.
There are troubling signs that the Trump Administration is itching for a fight with Iran. Fresh sanctions and veiled references to regime change show the Administration is searching for any excuse to avoid recertifying Iran’s compliance come the next review in October. President Donald Trump tasked a team in the White House with coming up with reasons to withhold certification. In a July interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump prejudged the October outcome: he expected Iran to be declared noncompliant. Breaking the nuclear deal, to keep a campaign promise, could put Washington on a slippery slope towards a military confrontation. Sabotage of the accord that Iran negotiated, not only with the United States, but also with Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, would be received in Tehran as a message that Washington is preparing military action, and prepare for the worst. Distinguishing fact from fiction on Iran is necessary: it is false that the nuclear deal is to blame for Iran’s success in the regional power game, and that reversing it will deprive Iran of that capability. What has given Iran the capacity to meddle isn’t the nuclear deal, but the political vacuum that now exists smack in the center of the Arab world. The wars in Syria and Iraq and the conflict in Yemen, have hollowed out the center of the Arab world, creating a gaping security hole that has lured in Iran, but also Saudi Arabia and Turkey, into a of conflict trap from which it is easier to enter than exit. The real threat to American national security interests isn’t Iran per se, but the vacuum created by the civil wars that allows Tehran and other regional powers to step in. It is the collapse of the regional order that is the real threat to U.S. interests.