The president has taken a haphazard approach to foreign policy since taking office, seeming to be under the impression that pushing full speed ahead, no matter the possible consequences, is the way to go. In that light, he has continuously seemed unable to be deterred in his campaign to legitimize the idea of a military strike against the North Koreans, pushing for such a thing on Twitter over and over again.
One of the other targets of his belligerence has been the Iran Nuclear Deal, that landmark agreement reached during the Obama administration that included Iran putting a cap on its nuclear production in exchange for the West lifting sanctions against the country.
The president, insists, as he has done in the case of other deals that the United States is party to, that the deal is unfair to the United States, even though there is no broad consensus that such is the case or that it’s not working.
Even still, he has criticized it at what feels like every available opportunity, moving to “decertify” it late last year.
Now, reports have come out that, in spite of the president’s opposition to the deal, he will be extending the waivers on sanctions against Iran that are part of the execution of the deal — possibly for the last time, however.
Before the president made his decision official, three officials spoke to the Associated Press and revealed that the sanctions waiver extension will be accompanied by “a stern warning that Trump will pull out of the nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration if fixes aren’t made by spring.”
Thus, the president is again injecting his trademark volatility into world affairs, something that is not going to help convince the Iranians that we are really looking out for the common interest to the point of making it sensible for them to stay in compliance with the deal in question.
On Friday afternoon, the president made his decision to extend the deal official, but besides including the already mentioned ultimatum, the president also enacted sanctions against an array of Iranian interests, including the head of Iran’s judiciary.
The sanctions that the president imposed targeted those believed to be behind the violent Iranian crackdown on recently erupted anti-government protests, which the president and other leading GOP officials expressed support for.
Trump wants the “sunset provisions” of the deal, with some of the restrictions on Iran technically expiring at a point in the future, to be eliminated.
Ironically, the president had no problem with enacting a tax plan that included cuts for the middle class that technically expire at a point in the future and cuts for upper income people that do not expire.
There is not yet any indication that the president will have his wishes granted when it comes to the deal, so come a few months time, when it’s time for Trump to again sign off on a continued waiver for the sanctions, he might decide to pull out of the deal entirely.
To suggest that this uncertainty is unhealthy for the future of the country and of the world is an understatement.
Featured Image via Eric Thayer/ Bloomberg via Getty Images