As a part of his strategy to unmake every achievement of the Obama administration, including the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Trump is taking no prisoners. The JCPOA was reached in 2015 with the P5+1 to offer economic sanctions relief to a throttled nuclear development program on the part of the Iranians.
The deal was successfully signed by all parties, and has been functioning as intended over its, to date, brief lifespan. However, President Trump is calling it ‘the worst deal in history’, and, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s and French President Emmanuel Macron’s visits to Washington, no one has yet been able to convince Trump to hang in there.
The newest replacement to Trump’s cabinet, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, addressed the matter at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, following a meeting with his foreign counterparts on the matter, at a press briefing. The New York Times reports:
BRUSSELS — On his first full day as secretary of state, Mike Pompeo traveled to Europe and delivered a warning that leaders here have come to dread: President Trump will soon pull out of the Iran nuclear deal unless major changes are made.
“Absent a substantial fix, absent overcoming the shortcomings, the flaws of the deal, he is unlikely to stay in that deal past this May,” Mr. Pompeo said of Mr. Trump.
Mr. Pompeo said that Mr. Trump had not made a decision on the accord, but Mr. Pompeo’s itinerary on his first overseas trip as the nation’s chief diplomat — a stop here at NATO headquarters and others in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan in the next three days — suggested that he was preparing allies for a likely decision by Mr. Trump to pull out of the deal.
This week, President Emmanuel Macron of France predicted that Mr. Trump “will get rid of this deal on his own for domestic reasons.” Mr. Trump has set May 12 as his deadline to announce his choice.
While feigning commitment to NATO, America is threatening to divide it. That possibility comes down to what happens with the Iran deal. Will Trump pull America out of the deal, forcing the remaining members to chose between Iran and the US or will they, too, follow Trump’s lead?
Macron is in a bid to bring some unity back to the EU and Merkel is promising to invest even more German capital into NATO’s military budget, so there’s a considerable amount of actual and political capital being driven just two weeks before Trump announces his decision.
Meanwhile, Iran is threatening a break neck pace to nuclear development efforts in the wake of a US abandonment of the JCPOA. Will Trump’s legacy have him denuclearize North Korea, while both resuming and speeding up the nuclearization of Iran?