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Trump’s Absurd Iran Plan

Trump authored an awful op-ed on the nuclear deal earlier this week ahead of today’s demagogic anti-deal rally in Washington:

When I am elected president, I will renegotiate with Iran — right after I enable the immediate release of our American prisoners and ask Congress to impose new sanctions that stop Iran from having the ability to sponsor terrorism around the world.

In other words, Trump thinks he will “renegotiate” a deal on the nuclear issue after imposing additional punitive measures on Iran and making more demands of them on other issues, which is the same fantasy of a “better deal” that Iran hawks have been peddling all year. This is just as nonsensical as anything Rubio and Walker have said about what they will do after scrapping the deal, but Trump thinks that his deal-making persona lends it greater plausibility. In fact, Trump is practically admitting that his supposed “renegotiation” would never takes place, because there are no sanctions that the U.S. can impose that will absolutely halt Iran’s support to its proxies and allies in the region. Meanwhile, like virtually all other opponents of the deal, Trump doesn’t acknowledge the other parties to the JCPOA, and doesn’t even bother trying to explain how these other governments would be persuaded to renegotiate a deal that they already consider quite acceptable.

He prattles on about the supposed “existential threat” Iran poses to Israel, which is completely false, and he later complains about “the threat of nuclear weapons from Iran.” If there was ever going to be a “threat of nuclear weapons from Iran,” the current deal has greatly reduced it for decades to come and makes it far less likely that Iran will ever obtain such weapons. That’s the deal that Trump wants to “renegotiate,” which in practical terms is the same as wanting to wreck the deal that already exists.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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