Trump Just Started a Nuclear Crisis With Iran

October 13, 2017
Jeffrey Lewis

The following is an excerpt from the New Republic.

President Donald Trump on Friday did what he does best: He threw a temper tantrum on national TV. To address what he called “the increasing menace posed by Iran,” he announced his refusal to send Congress a routine certification required by law that Iran is keeping its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal. He also announced “additional sanctions on the regime to block their financing of terror,” and promised, “We will deny the regime all paths to a nuclear weapon.” In doing so, Trump will start a new nuclear crisis, one that he has no idea how to solve—and which may end with Tehran following Pyongyang’s lead, testing thermonuclear weapons and long-range missiles that can strike the United States.

Trump claims he has good cause for not providing certification. “Importantly, Iran is not living up to the spirit of the deal,” he said on Friday. But Yukiya Amano, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is charged with monitoring and verifying the deal, was unequivocal last month: “The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] are being implemented.” Even one of Trump’s top generals, James Dunford of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says so.

The real crisis here is Trump’s fragile ego. As a candidate, he called the Iran nuclear deal an “embarrassment” and the “worst deal ever.” So nothing has been more humiliating to him to be required, under the Iran Nuclear Review Act, to certify that Iran is, in fact, keeping its promises. This amounts to requiring the president to admit, in writing, that he’s a windbag.

Read the full article at the New Republic.

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