Trump’s dangerous decertification decision on the nuclear deal will come in his speech later this afternoon. In the same speech, he will outline what the administration is calling a “new strategy” on Iran, but based on the “fact sheet” the White House has sent out there is no strategy to be found. The “fact sheet” contains a fair number of false and misleading claims (and a lot of typos), but it doesn’t describe anything resembling a strategy.
The Trump administration is announcing that it intends to be more hostile to Iran and its proxies, but it sets no well-defined goals for what this increased hostility is supposed to achieve. The document says that the administration “will seek to bring about a change in the Iranians regimes behavior [sic]” while “neutralizing the Government of Irans destabilizing influence [sic].” To what end? At what cost? How? Why? For how long? None of these basic questions is addressed, much less answered in a satisfactory way. There is no hint of trying to match means and ends. Instead, the document lists a lot of complaints about Iranian behavior, makes assertions that other governments share Washington’s concerns, and whines about Obama’s record. Everything in the so-called “strategy” outline suggests that the policy that the “fact sheet” describes is as poorly-crafted as the document itself. We’ll find out more in the speech later today, but the preview suggests that future Iran policy will be even more senseless and ill-considered than it already is.