There was an interesting detail in this recent report on Trump and the nuclear deal:
Mr. Trump had expected to be presented with options for how to get out of the deal, according to two officials, and in the words of one of them, “he had a bit of a meltdown when that wasn’t one of the choices.” [bold mine-DL]
The striking thing about this episode is that Trump clearly doesn’t care whether Iran is actually in compliance or not. He wants to renege on the agreement no matter what, and he is frustrated when his subordinates fail to provide him with the necessary pretext to do it. He expected to be given an excuse to undermine the deal, but there was none forthcoming because there is no good reason to give up on the agreement. Short of making things up out of thin air, administration officials can’t give him what he wants.
During the primaries, Trump received some undeserved credit on this issue early on because he claimed that he didn’t want to “tear up” the deal as soon as possible. As the campaign wore on, however, Trump adopted the same rejectionist position that his primary opponents had taken, and then pledged that he would make dismantling the deal a top priority. Trump’s Cabinet members have prevented him from following through on that so far, but it seems unlikely that they can keep doing so. Undermining or reneging on the deal would be a dangerous and foolish thing to do, but all signs point to Trump’s strong interest in doing just that.