Iran Again in the Crosshairs as War Hawks Rejoice

A woman pasts a mural painted on the wall of the former US Embassy in Tehran, Iran, on May 9, 2018. US President Donald Trump announced withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal on May 9, 2018. (Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)A woman passes a mural painted on the wall of the former US Embassy in Tehran, Iran. Donald Trump announced US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal on May 9, 2018.  (Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

After Donald Trump finished sloughing his way through a piteously thin explanation for withdrawing the US from the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday afternoon, he slumped his way to the door, looking for all the world like an old hound badly in need of a nap … where he was greeted by newly minted national security adviser John Bolton, who was smiling under his mustache like some feral Cheshire cat.

If you are wondering why the US just bailed on a deal that made the world a safer place, Bolton the avowed regime changer and the promise of war to come explain much of it. He has been craving a war with Iran for six presidential administrations and counting, and is now in a better position to exert his will over foreign policy than ever before. Back in the George W. Bush days, his lies had to filter up through several superiors before reaching the president’s ears. Now, he’s in the big round room with the man himself, footloose and filter-free.

Among other very bad things, dumping this deal drives a huge wedge between the US and its European allies. Europe could choose to continue working with Iran within the mechanisms of the deal, except Trump made it clear that secondary sanctions would be levied against any country that did so. Vladimir Putin, who has wanted to see the end of NATO since time out of mind is very pleased right now.

Kim Jong Un likely watched the proceedings on Tuesday with a gimlet eye. On the eve of his alleged meeting with Trump over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, this sudden shredding of a functional deal with Iran must be giving him pause. Why on Earth would he, or anyone else for that matter, enter into an agreement with the United States if this is how such deals wind up?

Fear not, however. Disgraced Lt. Col. and…

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