By withdrawing the U.S. from the landmark Iran nuclear deal, President Donald Trump is dramatically increasing the risk of war. The deal was working and Iran was complying, explains the Friends Committee on National Legislation. But if the deal collapses, the cameras watching Iran’s uranium mines will go dark. The inspectors who monitor Iran’s nuclear facilities will be locked out. Already, tensions between Israel and Iran are flaring up. The nuclear deal should have been the basis for wider diplomacy.
Think about the big picture. Democrats and Republicans alike take simplistic hostile postures in foreign policy. The result of this stance for the past decades in the Middle East is chaos. That is the conclusion of Boston University professor Andrew Bacevich, in “America’s War for the Greater Middle East.”
So why continue the same hostilities? Washington policymakers speak freely of Russia as an enemy. Iran and its regional network, though very different from North Korea, is trashed as a terrorist state. The Arab Middle East has generally been viewed pejoratively, despite strong diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and some Persian Gulf states. Whatever the United States’ issues with Iran, they will not be resolved by sanctions.
As a resident actor in the Persian Gulf, Iran has more legitimacy than the U.S. — an outside superpower. The terror inflicted by the American military in the region is greater than any destabilizing actions by Iran.