According to CBS News, President Trump is scheduled to release a new round of sanctions against Iran that will target multiple foreign entities believed to have aided the Islamic Republic with its ballistic missile development program.
Multiple sources told CBS that the new sanctions will not interfere with President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
Although President Trump has publicly criticized that deal, European diplomats say they have been informed that Mr. Trump has agreed to honor it.
But earlier this week, Mr. Trump said on camera at the start of a meeting with the Iraqi Prime Minister that “nobody knows why” his predecessor agreed to the deal which was also co-signed by Russia, China, Germany, Britain and France. “One of the things I did ask is, ‘why did President Obama sign that agreement with Iran?’ because nobody has been able to figure that one out,” Mr. Trump said.
If the new sanctions go into effect, they will be the second round administered by the Trump administration. The first round, already on standby in the last few months of the Obama tenure, were triggered in February.
This development will bring the Iran nuclear deal back to the headlines, depending on how Tehran reacts to the sanctions. Trump has been advised to keep the deal in place despite Republican opposition and despite his statements on the campaign trail; the biggest part of the damage has already been done, after all. Iran got their frozen billions, which they will keep in a nice, safe place until they’ve decided they’ve had enough of abiding by international restrictions. Then they’ll kick inspectors out of the country and resume their weapons program – much easier to do, now, thanks to Obama’s gullibility.
In the meantime, it makes sense to work the program – as skeptical as we may be about the rigor of the inspections process – until there is a clear indication that Iran is breaking the deal. Which they will, guaranteed. This is the North Korea situation all over again, and it will happen every time our leaders make the mistake of trusting regimes that cannot be trusted.
Diplomacy is a powerful tool, and so is negotiation. You can turn enemies into friends using these tools, but you can’t do it by burying your head in the sand, appeasing dictators, and pretending you have control over the uncontrollable.
Obama’s errors have put the Trump administration in a tough spot. Our only hope is that Iran will take the consequences of breaking the deal a bit more seriously as long as Trump is in office. Unfortunately, their continued ballistic missile testing tells us they do not.