Wrong Iran Policy Would Cost US Dearly

Wrong Iran Policy Would Cost US DearlyWrong Iran Policy Would Cost US Dearly

The US administration’s persistence on a wrong policy in regard to the Iran nuclear deal will have greater consequences for Washington than just a blow to its credibility as unraveling the accord would make an already simmering region much hotter, says an American political analyst.

In an op-ed for the Washington Post published online on Saturday, Fareed Zakaria argues that CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who has been nominated to lead the State Department, should take a page from US President Donald Trump’s book so as not to create more problems in dealing with Iran’s nuclear issue.

“Trump has reversed course on issue after issue, often with little explanation. He declared that NATO was obsolete only to say later that it was not. He promised to label China a currency manipulator and then decided against it. He insisted that talking to North Korea would be a waste of time and then eagerly announced that he would.”

Whatever Pompeo said about the Iran deal months ago is now ancient history, Zakaria wrote, adding, “He should simply declare that right now, under the circumstances, the deal is worth preserving.”

Trump has announced that the United States will no longer abide by the nuclear pact unless European leaders agree to “fix the deal’s disastrous flaws” and is set to announce his decision on May 12. His stance has been supported by Pompeo from the outset.

  Most Immediate Challenge

The expert believes that addressing the situation surrounding the nuclear agreement, which is “an entirely self-inflicted crisis” largely of the president’s own making, would be Pompeo’s most immediate challenge if he is confirmed as secretary of state.  Zakaria maintains that the virtues of the Iran deal should be studied in light of Washington’s negotiations with Pyongyang.  

“Pompeo will have to tackle a genuine foreign policy challenge soon. Trump has agreed to meet with Kim Jong-un before the end of May,” he wrote in reference to the US president’s decision to hold talks with the North Korean leader aimed at convincing the country to denuclearize. “This could be a promising development, defusing the rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula and across Asia. Yet before Trump even sits down with Kim at the negotiating table to discuss a nuclear deal, the administration will have to decide how to handle the pre-existing deal with Tehran.”  

However, Zakaria asks why Kim would sign a deal while he watches the US renege on the last one it signed. In addition, he noted that the Iran accord has helped stabilize a dangerous and spiraling situation in the Middle East.

“Were the deal to unravel, an already simmering region would get much hotter,” he said, pointing to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who recently affirmed that his kingdom would go nuclear if Iran did. Iran denies any intention to seek atomic weapons, saying its nuclear energy program is solely for peaceful purposes.

“There was already enough instability in the world that the administration did not need to create more. Pompeo should recognize that his job as secretary of state will be to solve problems, not produce them, and he should preserve the Iran accord and spend his time on North Korea,” Zakaria commented.


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