Trump’s possible decision to leave Iran deal may weaken US

Nuclear Program Materials 28 September 2017 20:27 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sep. 28

By Umid Niayesh – Trend:

President Donald Trump’s refusal to certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal would weaken multilateral cooperation with the US, an international affairs expert suggested.

Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Tuesday joined other members of President Donald Trump's Cabinet in confirming that Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal that has put a temporary halt to its nuclear weapons program.

“Dunford correctly argued that Trump’s refusal to certify Iranian compliance would weaken multilateral cooperation with the US. Moreover, if Congress should impose economic sanctions on Iran as a result of non-certification, other nations would unlikely join the US, rendering US sanctions ineffective. Dunford also suggested that a better way to approach Iran’s regional policies would be to seek the cooperation of other nations, such as France, in opposing them,” Edward Haley, the W.M. Keck Foundation Professor of International Strategic Studies at Claremont McKenna College, told Trend.

“Donald Trump’s public statements are a combination of ignorance and political calculation,” the expert believes so. “For example, he knows very little about the Iranian nuclear agreement, but his opposition to it is popular among his political supporters. The resulting tension showed clearly in his recent speech at the United Nations. Apparently his real concern was Iranian support for the Syrian government and Hezbollah, but he could not refrain from condemning the nuclear agreement with Iran. In an odd way he may even have been reassuring his supporters about his views on Iran ahead of a seemingly contradictory decision to recertify Iranian compliance with the agreement.”

“Trump’s combination of ignorance and political calculation has several other important effects: it puts American military and political leaders in an awkward position. Their informed and disinterested views often conflict with his directly or indirectly, as was the case with General Dunford’s recent statements to Congress in support of the Iranian nuclear agreement. Trump’s casual posturing also alarms and confuses allies and enemies, which makes effective decision-making difficult, undermines support for US policy, and risks escalating out of control during a crisis.”

The US president has, so far, remained silent on whether he plans to certify before Congress on October 15 that Iran is complying with its obligations under the nuclear agreement.