By Brenna Sullivan
President Donald Trump’s attempted sabotage of President Barack Obama’s nuclear treaty with Iran works against the cause of peace as well as the security of the American people.
In his article, How Trump Could Avoid Another $7 Trillion bill in Mideast: Back Off War with Iran, Juan Cole scrutinizes Trump’s ability to simultaneously slam the Obama Administration with insults about wasting $7 trillion in a war in the Middle East while at the same time the Trump Administration attempts to back out of the nuclear deal with Iran. As Trump undermines the Iran deal, our Middle Eastern allies – Saudi Arabia and Israel – are pushing for confrontation with Iran. Cole is able to locate the many contradictions in Trump’s desires and ultimately annihilate his argument by pointing them out.
First and foremost, the nuclear deal, or the JCPOA, is what keeps the U.S. from going to war with Iran. Under the JCPOA, Iran is prevented from having access to the four pathways to creating a nuclear weapon: access to Uranium at two sites, access to Plutonium, and covert attempts to produce the material, along with having frequent UN inspections. If they are producing missiles or not, as Trump’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has said before, there wouldn’t be any material of significant value to put on them. Now, as Haley also points out, that’s not to say that these Iran-made missiles can’t cause harm as they’ve been shown to be used by Yemen’s Houthis targeting Saudi Arabia. However, it would be incredibly self-righteous of America to forget the U.S. planes and bombs that Saudi Arabia is using to target the Yemeni civilian community of Sana’a.
As we are living in times where the accidental push of the wrong “larger” button, false alarm or not, could stir legitimate panic in the American people, Trump should begin to tread lightly on both his use of threatening rhetoric and his decision-making on spending and conflict, particularly in the Middle East. If he truly aims to commit to the needs and security of the American people, let Trump start first by denying all entry into a war with Iran and, more importantly second, finally listening to the needs of the people.