Yesterday is gone, and you can’t bring it back, Decertifying the Iran nuclear deal, as President Trump apparently is about to do, would guarantee only that Iran will resume its drive toward nuclear weapons. I discussed this a few minutes ago with host P.J. Maloney on KQV News Radio in Pittsburgh.
It’s a failing of world powers, institutions, and parts of the political spectrum–a drive to bring back the “good ol’ days” when everything was so great. Well, the good ol’ days were not all that great, and no one could bring them back even if they tried.
What Trump can do, however, is guarantee the failure of the accord, and then he and his backers can say “I told you so.” It’s a mighty dangerous and costly way to “prove” that you were right and the hated devil Obama was wrong.
Yet a dispassionate examination of the facts shows that the decades-long policy of sanctions and punishment had accomplished all it could by the time the Iran nuclear deal was concluded. This is what I wrote at the time:
Here are four facts that turn the whole Iran debate on its head:
- If Iran wants to build a nuclear weapon, it will.
- Sanctions have accomplished all they can accomplish, and maintaining them or strengthening them would be counterproductive.
- Iran has an educated middle class that already pulled off a near-successful revolt and is the key to Iran’s future.
- What Iran does is more important than what Iran says.
Decertifying the accord isn’t the same as canceling it–but it sends the same signal to Iran: The US cannot be trusted as a party to the accord, so why make efforts to comply with it?
Chances are we’ll never know how this could have worked. Serious efforts have not been made to use the deal to improve Iran’s behavior. That failure could bring about a tragedy of epic proportions.
But at least we’ll have someone to blame. That seems to be the goal of politics these days.