“I announce that U.S. is withdrawing from the Iran Deal,” said U.S. President Donald Trump as he withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which saw Iran agree to limit the size of its stockpile of enriched uranium - which is used to make reactor fuel, but also nuclear weapons - for 15 years and the number of centrifuges installed to enrich uranium for 10 years.
"Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal." pic.twitter.com/hvnlrkJAQD
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 8, 2018
Donald Trump used Iran’s growing influence in Iraq, Syria and Yemen accusing it of ‘destabilising activities’ as the primary cause of scrapping deal. He says lifting of sanctions has helped Iran support terror activities, “Iran’s bloody ambitions have grown more bold.”
"At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction: that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program. Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie." pic.twitter.com/9m4VBjnHj7
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 8, 2018
Trump also used Israel’s recent revelations of ‘new evidence’ that said the Iran deal was ‘based on a lie.’ The President added that he will impose “economic sanctions at the highest level.” He added that countries that choose to help Iran will also “be sanctioned.”
The U.S. President has repeatedly slammed the Iran Nuclear Agreement, calling it ‘awful’ and had promised to tear it up during his campaign for the White House.
The EU powers part of the deal – UK, France, and Germany see the binding agreement as the best way to stop Iran developing a nuclear bomb and their officials met a senior Iranian on Tuesday without U.S. officials present. The move goes against advice from his European allies and some military advisers.
France, Germany, and the UK regret the U.S. decision to leave the JCPOA. The nuclear non-proliferation regime is at stake.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 8, 2018
But Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he "fully supports" the "bold" withdrawal.
Why Did Donald Trump Walk Out Of Iran Nuclear Deal?
Trump’s explanation that Iran was using the deal to build its defence capabilities as well as finance terrorist activities in its neighbourhood does not stand up to logic as pointed out by both France and Germany. Macron had argued that staying in the deal allows the international community to monitor Iran’s nuclear activity and the deal’s frame-work can then be used upon to enlarge the conditions on which Tehran had to work on. So why did Trump pull the plug when everybody (almost everybody including U.S. Democrats) argued for staying in the deal?
1. Trump’s Personal Vendetta Against Barack Obama
On a personal level, the Iran deal which brought on board the international powers as well as brought to heel a ‘wayward country’ into the fold was a shining achievement of the Obama Administration and of President Barack Obama personally. Obama worked for years and ensured a deal happened which was lauded as being fair to the international community as well as Iran. Trump since assuming office has targeted every one of Obama’s signature policies like the Healthcare Act, pulling out of Paris Climate Agreement and the long-negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership and now the Iran deal. The deal was more about undoing Obama’s stamp on U.S. policy than anything else.
2. Trump’s Embrace of Israel’s Worldview Linked to Campaign Contributions
Before the U.S. President walked out of the Iran deal, the most significant move that showed his support of Israel’s worldview was moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem. This move drew international condemnation as it almost ended chances of Palestine establishing its capital in Jerusalem in the future. But what it also signified was the U.S. supporting Israel’s vision of the region i.e. Palestine as a territory of Israel and not a two-nation solution; limiting Iran’s influence and using whichever means necessary to institute regime change in countries not pro-Israel/U.S.
However, this was not Donald Trump’s original position. He came to it after a $100 million contribution to his presidential campaign from Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam Ochsorn, for whom establishing the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem has almost been a three-decade long effort. Acting against Iran, which has spread its influence through Shia-majority populations in Iraq and Syria, ties in with Israel’s need to limit the growth of an Islamic republic that threatens or rather challenges its regional supremacy. Iran’s stand of supporting Houthis in Yemen pushed Saudi Arabia to lobby Trump to act against Tehran and thus the Shia-country’s fate was made.
3. Is Iran Paying the Price For Being An Islamic Country?
Iran’s revolution which overthrew the Shah of Iran who was supported by the U.S. and replaced him with an organic movement that brought Shia clergy to power as the Supreme leader which has long been a sore-point with U.S. hardliners. Trump used the oft-repeated reason that U.S. President’s in the past have used of certain regimes backing ‘terrorist organizations’ to act against them. The terms ‘Iran and terror’ was used multiple times by him to add credit to his reason of walking out of the deal. He said, “The Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor of terror. It exports dangerous missiles, fuels conflicts across the Middle East, and supports terrorist proxies and militias such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda.”
For reasons personal and material, Donald Trump chose to walk out of the Iran Nuclear Deal which has put the entire Middle East more closer to war than it was anytime before. And maybe that is why he did what he did.