The increasingly embattled and reviled, soon to fall Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the “Iran nuclear deal”) in May.
He did so in order to fulfill a campaign promise, and express his pathological resentment for his predecessor by undoing an Obama achievement. That’s how the whole world understands it—especially as his idiocy becomes widely acknowledged— even by his inner circle of frustrated leakers in an unfolding drama of White House chaos.
Trump is a very unusual U.S. president, pursuing peace with North Korea, for example, while seeking regime change in Iran. Where’s the consistency, ask foreign leaders? They understand that the U.S. leader is not guided by any coherent ideology and is hence unpredictable and often irrational. They also know that the conditions Mike Pompeo set for the U.S. to return to the agreement were outrageous, humiliating and designed for rejection.
Trump has not only withdrawn the U.S. from the agreement but sought to block its implementation by imposing secondary sanctions on countries trading with Iran. These infuriate European officials and have produced strong protest. It’s preposterous to demand that Daimler AG cancel plans for Mercedez-Benz manufacture in Iran until Tehran ceases support for Hizbollah or the Syrian army. Europeans vow to find ways to escape U.S. efforts to sabotage trade. The Chinese will surely continue to purchase Iranian oil; so will the Indians, South…