President-elect Donald Trump vows to either tear up or rewrite the recent international nuclear deal with Iran, calling it ‘disastrous,’ and ‘the worst deal ever negotiated by Washington.’
Iran, which has closed important nuclear facilities, shut down half its centrifuges, and neutralized its stores of nuclear material under the international agreement, must be wondering if it’s nuclear deal was not really, really disastrous.
In his rush to condemn the Iran deal, Donald Trump seems to be forgetting that the pact was co-signed by Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and the UN. Backing out of the pact will be no easy matter and sure to provoke a diplomatic storm.
The outgoing CIA director, John Brennan, calls Trump’s plan to junk the Iran deal ‘the height of folly.’ Brennan warns that doing so would further destabilize the Mideast and embolden hard-liners on all sides. He could have added that if Iran resumes nuclear enrichment, Israel’s far right government will likely go to war with Iran in order to preserve its Mideast nuclear monopoly.
An Israeli attack on Iran could quickly drag in the United States and become a major Mideast conflict. The Pentagon is not anxious to get involved in yet another war in the Muslim world. Interestingly, some Iranian hardliners actually hope the US will attack Iran: ‘America will break its teeth on Iran, and that will be the end of its Mideast empire,’ as one overconfident Iranian told me.
Adding to tensions, the Iranian nuclear deal has been under heavy attack in the US that may sabotage the pact even without Donald Trump’s intervention. The US Israel lobby has made sabotaging the deal with Tehran a priority. Equally important, Israel’s extraordinary influence over the US Congress and media has been directed at overturning or at least derailing the nuclear accord.