Donald Trump has turned his back on world. In most controversial step of his tenure, US President broke nuclear agreement with Iran on Tuesday and Reimpuso "at highest level" and immediately sanctions against regime. The combined pressure of France, Germany and United Kingdom was of little avail. Nor did it curb risk that Middle East would fall on nuclear slope. A standard bearer of isolationism, Trump decided to fracture west and open an era of instability in most explosive region of planet. "My message is clear: US does not launch empty threats," he said.
Trump returns to its origin. The starting point that has never left. Feed radical vote and destroy Obama's legacy. That's algorithm that defines ir movements. It's not random or unpredictability. It is about fulfilling doctrine of America first, long before maintaining international harmony. It happened with exit of pact against climate change, Trans-Pacific Agreement, thaw with Cuba, veto to Muslims, dreamers... And now it's happened to Iran.
"The agreement rested in a gigantic fiction: that a killer regime wanted only a peaceful nuclear program. If we didn't do anything, world's biggest sponsor of terrorism was going to get most dangerous of weapons in a short time, "Trump said.
The jolt is planetary. The agreement, reached on 14 July 2015 in Vienna, was forged after two years of negotiation. Its immediate aim was to defuse Iranian access to atomic bomb for at least a decade, in exchange for lifting economic sanctions that suffocated regime. But in long run it was a much more important step. It showed that two sworn enemies, after 35 years to unseen, could shake hands and lower nuclear tension. The text was also endorsed by five or powers (China, Russia, France, United Kingdom and Germany) that acted as a stabilizer in face of continuing pressures of Israel and Saudi Arabia, whose mistrust of Tehran has never disappeared.
All this is now precarious. The agreement has no exit mechanism and in reactivating sanctions, US unilaterally breaks subscriber. The result is difficult to calculate. Iran can leave pact alleging its non-compliance by Washington and restart nuclear program. And on Allies looms threat of penalties. A package that when it was approved by Congress in 2012, apart from punishing Iranian central bank, made it extremely difficult for financial operations in US to maintain transactions with Tehran. Something y have done in recent years countries as friends of Washington as France ( Total Oil Company leads a consortium that has announced investments in gas for 4.8 billion dollars).
The damage is wide, and losers, many. Perhaps only winner is, for time being, Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has always seen purported nuclear peace as a fiction. It has not served that Iran complies scrupulously with terms of agreement. Or that enrichment of uranium and plutonium, closed facilities and removed from Iranian territory most of fuel has been blocked. For Netanyahu, text does not put an end to atomic program, but postpones it in search of an economic recovery that will allow it to resume more forcefully.
Trump, already as a candidate, endorsed this argument. In campaign he defined pact as " worst in world" and whenever he had chance to shook in public. Last October, he decided not to validate it in his quarterly review and he left Congress to determine his future. It was a first blow, though not definitive. The cameras, after ir turn, returned it intact and in January Trump again put clock in motion waiting to renegotiate text. That deadline is one that ran out this week.
At this time, Trump and his hawks have wanted to tie hands and feet to an adversary. For this, as President repeated yesterday, y have demanded to reopen agreement and to incorporate three amendments: to put an end to clause that allows to restart nuclear program, to include limits to ballistic program and to restrict interference "terrorist and Destabilizing "of Tehran in region, especially Syria and Yemen.
This renegotiation has been rejected by or signatories and has led to high-diplomacy movements by France Germany and United Kingdom. The most advanced in this line was French president, Emmanuel Macron, who during his recent state visit offered to keep agreement alive while negotiating anor on missiles and zonal stability. The proposal didn't convince Trump.
Before macron itself, American president described what was agreed in Vienna as "ridiculous, demented and dilapidated." His onslaught, in middle of a honeymoon with French president, recalled turn that White House has given since moderate wing, defender of Agreement, was replaced by a group of Hawks led by Secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.
This radical turn, as president has seen, places rupture of agreement on a political cycle that goes beyond Middle East and reaches negotiations with North Korea. For radicals, setback to Tehran allows Trump to show his strength to Kim Jong-UN and demand a maxims agreement. "The US does not launch empty threats. When I promise something, I keep it and now Pompeo is heading to North Korea, " president announced.
It's an interpretation that Democrats don't share. For m, output pulverizes credibility of US. "After this who can rely on international agreements that United States negotiates," said Ben Rhodes, one of brains of agreement.
It's not an isolated opinion. Most experts believe that with departure White House proves that any pact, rar than its own fulfillment, must be subject to doctrine of America first. It's not just that Republican tycoon will polarize his citizens. He does it with world. Agiganta fracture with Allies, it reopens nuclear race in Middle East and gives a privileged space to Israeli narrative. Broken bridges, planet becomes more insecure. That is, for moment, Trump's legacy.