The president is continuing, as time goes on, to go it alone, no matter, essentially, what the cost. He has carved out a space for himself on the global stage that puts him at odds with a whole host of world leaders, even ones that, like British Prime Minister Theresa May, are in theory of the same ideological persuasion that he is.
The president this Tuesday is taking yet another step that continues that trend, allegedly revealing in an early phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron that he would be announcing the United States’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal later in the day.
Such came out thanks to the testimony of an anonymous individual briefed on the contents of the world leaders’ phone call who spoke to The New York Times.
The U.S. president has railed against the deal time and time again, announcing a deadline recently for fixes to be incorporated into the deal if world leaders wanted him to stay in it. That deadline was May 12; he revealed it in January after he begrudgingly continued sanctions relief for Iran in what he said could be the last time he would do such a thing.
Among the president’s issues with the agreement is the fact that the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program it includes “sunset” after a certain point. An individual speaking to The Times identified disagreement between Trump and world leaders as to the length of time restrictions should be in place under the deal as a key factor in the U.S. president choosing to follow through on his past promise to withdraw from the deal.
Withdrawing from the deal will mean that the United States will reimpose old sanctions on Iran and possibly even add some new ones. For the president to choose such a path is striking considering he declined to impose sanctions on Russia in response to the chemical attack on Syrian civilians carried out by Kremlin-backed forces. Russia has occasionally enjoyed a significant exemption from the president’s confrontational foreign policy strategies, a platform that has already been felt by many at one point to have dragged the world closer to nuclear war.
The past instance of Trump dragging the world down such a path was that of his repeated badgering of the North Koreans; in the time since, the North Koreans have made diplomatic overtures to both the South Koreans and the West, although they insist that their decisions have nothing to do with the West’s badgering. Indeed, the North Koreans have admonished the Trump administration not to claim that their decisions with regard to their nuclear program have anything to do with Western pressure, but Trump remains emboldened to take steps off the edge anyway.
A Tuesday decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal will put him at odds with countries all around the world, including Russia and China. The deal has been used as a way to rein in the Iranians’ nuclear weapons program, but the president finds nothing wrong with following through on “ripping it up” anyway.
Ironically, just recently Trump hosted the French president and his wife in the first state visit of any foreign head of state under the current administration. Apparently however, no amount of gestures of friendship will dissuade the president from following through with his plans.
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