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He’s Right About Iran

Reuel Marc Gerecht
9th October 2017 - Quoted by The Editors - The Weekly Standard

Presidential candidate Donald Trump disparaged the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran in characteristically superlative terms: “My number-one priority,” he said to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March 2016, “is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran. I have been in business a long time. I know deal-making, and let me tell you, this deal is catastrophic—for America, for Israel, and for the whole Middle East. . . . We have rewarded the world’s leading state sponsor of terror with $150 billion, and we received absolutely nothing in return.”

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That will bring its own set of problems, to be sure. Congress would have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose the sanctions lifted when the JCPOA came into force. Trump’s national security advisers appear to have no illusions about Iran and reject Obama’s woefully misguided notion of a U.S.-Iran partnership for Middle East security. They also know that the Iran deal is a fact. The danger of walking away from the agreement is not that Iran will feel emboldened to continue pursuing its nuclear program and exporting terror—it’s already doing both. The danger, as Reuel Marc Gerecht explains elsewhere in these pages, is that Iran will more aggressively undermine American interests in the region at a time when the United States is already in retreat from it. President Trump hasn’t given any indication of having a strategic vision for the Middle East. That, we assume, is why Secretary of Defense James Mattis told a Senate committee on October 3 that he thought preserving the agreement was in America’s interest.

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