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Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) shouldn’t surprise any of us, since he has long been opposed to the deal, which is neither a treaty nor an executive action. Rather, it is a United Nations Security Council resolution.
I think we would all agree that this is his dumbest move yet, even though he has made PLENTY of dumb moves so far. It almost seems like he does something truly stupid just about every day.
The October 8, 2017 article in the New York times (see below), which was written by the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, explains why it does not make sense to withdraw from the agreement. The most important line in the article is in the last paragraph:
But if the United States wants to remain credible in future multilateral negotiations, it cannot go against the international consensus and attempt to scuttle past diplomacy whether as political retaliation against a previous administration, or as part of a constant reassessment of American national interests.
When the agreement was still being worked on, Congress passed the Iran Nuclear Review Act of 2015 in May of 2015. It gave Congress the right to review any final agreement, and it passed both the House and the Senate with overwhelming majorities.
The partisanship in Congress became more evident in September of 2015, when Democrats blocked a Republican-led attempt to reject the agreement. As usual, Mitch McConnell was up to his usual tricks, since he tried push through three different procedural votes, all of which failed.
Very early in his presidency, Trump managed to irritate one of our most loyal allies, when he called Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull “dumb”. Turnbull, naturally, “regrets” Trumps’ decision. The Sydney Morning Herald is of the opinion that Trump did what he did to distract everyone from his sexual adventures, and there is probably some truth to that. As the newspaper mentioned, one likely result is that gasoline prices will continue to rise.
In case you haven’t noticed, average gasoline prices have now risen toward a 3 year high.